MANILA will host the Final Four of the East Asia Super League (EASL) Season 1 in March.
The league announced the choice of the Philippines as the venue for the three-day event on Wednesday, serving as the culmination of the EASL's inaugural home-and-away season.
The Final Four tips off on March 3 featuring two semifinals games, a music festival on March 4, and finally, the Finals on March 5.
"We couldn't ask for a better city to host the first EASL Final Four. I would like to thank the local government authorities, our colleagues at the
Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), and the Filipino fans for welcoming us. The Final Four weekend will be unique and memorable, bigger than any event EASL has ever held, featuring a music festival and a variety of fan activations," said EASL CEO Matt Beyer.
No pre-departure or on-arrival COVID testing, nor quarantine is required for fully vaccinated travelers, which meant Manila is ready for a warm-up event to the FIBA World Cup taking place in Indonesia, Japan, and the Philippines beginning in August 2023.
"The decision to stage the inaugural EASL Final Four in Manila this March is a welcome development. The Philippines is a basketball-loving country and Filipino fans will be following the EASL games closely. Hosting the Final Four would be an exciting prelude to the FIBA World Cup as our country opens its doors to the global basketball community next year," said PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial.
TNT already clinched one of two PBA berths to represent the country in the kick-off season on Oct. 12 after entering the finals of the ongoing Philippine Cup.
Reigning champion Seoul SK Knights and runner-up Anyang KGC will represent the Korean Basketball League (KBL) in the meet, the P. League + of Chinese Taipei is sending the Taipei Fubon Braves, the B. League of Japan will have the Utsonomiya Brex and Ryukyu Golden Kings, and the Bay Area Dragons are competing in behalf Greater China.
"Having recently spent time in Manila for the EASL inaugural grouping ceremony, I can say with certainty that this is a great decision by EASL to host the Final Four Weekend in this magnificent city. Manila is truly a basketball city with some of the biggest and liveliest crowds," said KBL Commissioner Kim Hee Ok.
At the same time, EASL also announced the Final Four Weekend for Season 2 taking place in early 2024, will be held in Okinawa, Japan.
"The prefecture of Okinawa and the OCVB couldn't be happier to partner with EASL in the planning and promotion of the 2024 EASL Final Four. We are thrilled that Okinawa has been chosen as the destination for this global sporting event at our state-of-the-art Okinawa arena," said Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau Chairman Yoshiro Shimoji.
"We are promoting a 'Sports Island Okinawa,' and we are confident that it is a world-class place with great sports resources. The EASL Final Four solidifies Okinawa as a world class destination for sports and entertainment. We look forward to hosting all of the guests taking part in the EASL Final Four." (RG)