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Asia’s best clubs go head-to-head in Utsunomiya, Okinawa in March

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TNT kicks off the Philippine campaign in the East Asia Super League (EASL) Champions Week as it battles defending Japanese B.League champion Utsunomiya Brex on opening night on March 1 at the Brex Arena.

The 7:30 p.m. encounter (Japan time) serves as the main game of the opener’s doubleheader that will have Anyang KGC—featuring Filipino import Rhenz Abando—taking on Taipei Fubon Braves in the curtain raiser at 5 p.m.

The following day, Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beer debuts against another B.League runner up Ryukyu Golden Kings, while PBA Commissioner’s Cup guest team Bay Area Dragons tackle the Seoul SK Knights in the other game.

Utsunomiya will host the first six games of the eight-game group stage, before the tournament travels to Okinawa, where the Golden Kings host the remaining two group stage games, before proceeding with the championship match and third place game at their newly-built home, the Okinawa City Multi-Purpose Stadium, which will also serve as the venue for the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

“EASL is excited to hold Champions Week in Japan, in collaboration with the B. League after over three years of no games on the court due to COVID-19,” EASL CEO Matt Beyer said.

“Basketball continues to rise in popularity in Japan and across the region, and EASL Champions Week will provide a foundation for our home-and-away season beginning in October 2023,” Beyer added.

The eight teams have been divided into two groups of four teams each, with Group A comprised of San Miguel, Anyang KGC, Taipeh Fubon Braves, and Ryukyu Golden Kings, while Group B includes TNT, Seoul SK Knights, Bay Area Dragons and Utsunomiya Brex.

But because of time constraints, each team will only play two games during the group stage.

The rest of the group stage will have TNT vs SK Knights at 5 p.m. and the Dragons against the Brex at 7:30 p.m. on March 3.

The Beermen then open hostilities in Okinawa by going up against Abando and KGC on March 4 in the first game, followed by the Kings taking on the Braves at 7:30 p.m.

The eight teams have been divided into two groups of four teams each, with Group A comprised of San Miguel, Anyang KGC, Taipeh Fubon Braves, and Ryukyu Golden Kings, while Group B includes TNT, Seoul SK Knights, Bay Area Dragons and Utsunomiya Brex.

The top two teams in each group dispute the championship and the $250,000 prize money on March 5, while the two best teams in each group will battle for third place worth $50,000.

The runner-up meanwhile, takes home $100,000.

“We are very excited to host the highly-anticipated EASL Champions Week on our home courts in Japan,” B.League chairman Shinji Shimada said. “We are pleased to be able to hold EASL Champions Week as a home event for the Ryukyu Golden Kings and Utsunomiya Brex. I hope Japanese basketball fans will enjoy it and support the teams during their B. League season and during the EASL Champions Week as the two B. League teams are aiming to be number one in East Asia.”

EASL Champions Week is finalizing broadcast deals with top indigenous broadcasters in all core EASL geographies and globally. Further news on how to tune into EASL Champions Week as well as where to purchase tickets will be released soon.

EASL Champions Week is finalizing broadcast deals with top indigenous broadcasters in all core EASL geographies and globally. Further news on how to tune into EASL Champions Week as well as where to purchase tickets will be released soon.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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