BEIRUT and HONG KONG - FIBA today announced a ten-year agreement granting the East Asia Super League (EASL) FIBA Asia’s recognition and support to run an annual league for the top professional clubs in East Asia and the Philippines.
EASL will launch its new premium competition in October 2021, a month after the FIBA Asia Champions Cup, the continent’s premier club competition which takes place annually in September.
The first two editions (2021/22 & 2022/23) of the EASL will match up the region’s top eight teams in a home-and-away group stage, culminating with a Final Four in February to determine the champion, runner-up and third-place finishers. EASL plans to expand the competition to 16 teams by 2023. The EASL matches are slated to be integrated into schedules of the participating professional leagues.
“The recognition of the East Asia Super League is based on a shown commitment to developing basketball in the region, and is in line with FIBA’s club competition strategy that is to shape international club competitions,” said FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis.
“EASL has demonstrated a great operational capability to organize a high-level competition for top clubs, and a strong commitment to elevate the sport of basketball in East Asia within the FIBA regulatory framework for leagues,” said FIBA Executive Director Asia Hagop Khajirian. “We are delighted to grant long-term recognition and support to the EASL as the exclusive platform of its kind in East Asia,” added Khajirian.
Said EASL CEO Matt Beyer: “EASL is thrilled to receive FIBA’s support for the launch of our league. With top teams from the Greater China region, Japan, Korea, and the Philippines, we are confident it will become one of the top professional basketball competitions in the world by 2025. We also look forward to aligning with FIBA’s vision to strengthen domestic clubs and league competition in East Asia with a potential fan base of over 2 billion people, which will contribute to FIBA’s global club championship ambitions.”
The agreement follows EASL’s staging of four successful pre-season tournaments over the past three years, featuring elite club teams from the top leaguesin Asia, including CBA (China), B.LEAGUE (Japan), KBL (South Korea), PBA (Philippines), SBL (Chinese Taipei), and ABL (Southeast Asia). EASL’s week-long The Terrific 12 tournament held in Macao in September 2019 attracted both sellout live audiences and more than 117 million viewers worldwide.