PBA and East Asia Super League (EASL) officials met at the PBA office in Libis on Monday and discussed points of cooperation and coordination in relation to the PBA's participation in EASL's inaugural season starting Oct. 12 and EASL's engagement in the PBA Commissioner's Cup starting Sept. 21.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial welcomed the EASL delegation made up of Philippine country manager Banjo Albano, game operations/broadcast head Andrew Johnstone, Japan country manager/head of regional commercial partnerships Peter Lee and general manager of special projects Alex Olin. Albano is based in New York, Johnstone in Australia, Lee in Japan and Olin in Taiwan.
Deputy commissioner Eric Castro, social media head Michelle Flores, properties head Jo Francisco, special projects head Rouselle Ighot and operations officer Mauro (Junior) Bengua sat down with the visitors to take up issues of collaboration.
EASL's franchise team Bay Area Dragons will arrive in Manila on Aug. 1 and Castro said PBA referees may assist in their scrimmages to familiarize the players from Greater China with PBA rules.
Tune-up games may also be arranged with PBA teams. The Dragons, coached by Brian Goorjian, will play an exhibition game with the French club ASVL Villeurbanne, tentatively in early September, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Castro said the import height limit for the second conference is 6-9 15/16 or below 6-10. An import may be replaced at any time during the competition but only the first reinforcement may be reinstated if he is placed on the reserve list upon replacement.
EASL will hold its first Advisory Board meeting at the Shangri-La Fort, BGC, on June 28 in the morning. The PBA is represented in the Board by Barangay Ginebra Governor Alfrancis Chua.
In the afternoon, EASL will conduct its inaugural season draw to determine which of the eight competing teams are to be split into Groups A and B. The draw will be witnessed by ambassadors of the countries represented, FIBA Asia executive director Hagop Khajirian, PBA Board of Governors, PBA Management Committee, PBA players and coaches and media.
The eight teams will include the two finalists of the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup. The six other teams will be the two finalists of the Korean and Japanese leagues, the Dragons and the champion of the P.League+ of Taiwan.