On February 28, EASL CEO Matt Beyer met with TochigiPrefectural Governor Tomikazu Fukuda, Utsunomiya Brex President MutsumasaFujimoto and B.LEAGUE Representative Masahiko Masuda, where all partiesexpressed the excitement for the start of EASL Champions Week and view thecompetition as an excellent opportunity for cultural exchanges and showcase ofAsian basketball at the highest level.
The same sentiments were shared amongst players aswell, as EASL CEO Matt Beyer officially tips off the competition with a newsconference on the opening day of EASL Champions Week that was joined bycaptains of all the participating teams. During the conference, the captainsall expressed their passion to represent their respective leagues and desire towin the coveted EASL Championship.
In the opening game of EASL Champions Week, the Taipei Fubon Braves of P. LEAGUE+ battledit out against Anyang KGC of the Korean Basketball League (KBL) to officially commence the startof the pan-regional competition. The opening game, which was held at Nikkan Arena Tochigi, had fansfrom both sides who came to witness an intense matchup between two great teams in Asia.
Afterfour quarters of intense play, Anyang KGC emergedvictorious with a final score of 94 to 69. Anyang KGC played with incredible energy and determinationthroughout the game, showing off their skills and teamwork on the court. Omari Spellman was particularly impressive, scoring 22 pointswith seven to lead his team to victory.
Despitethe loss, Taipei Fubon Braves put up a valianteffort. They fought hard and put up a strong defense against their opponents,showing off their own firepower on thecourt. Ihor Zaytsev was a standoutplayer for his team, scoring 20 points on 50% field goal percentage.
In the second game of the day, thehome team Utsunomiya Brex took on the TNT Tropang Giga of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) toend the first day of EASL Champions Week, with Utsunomiya Brex taking home thevictorywith a final score of 99 to 66. Player of the game for game 2 was Josh Scott, who led the game with 24points and 14 rebounds.
Though the team came up short, Jalen Hudson from TNTTropang Giga showed everyone his talent on the court with game-high 28 points and 2 steals.
Thevictories place Utsunomiya Brex and Anyang KGC into the lead in their respective Groupstandings, inching them closer to the coveted spot at the Championship game inOkinawa on March 5. The winner of each group lands themselves achance to win the Championship, while the runners-up of each group will playin the third-place game.
On day two, the Bay Area Dragons will take on Seoul SKKnights in Group B stage game at 17:00 JST / 16:00 China / Philippines Time,and Ryukyu Golden Kings will face San Miguel Beermen at 19:30 JST / 18:30 China/ Philippines Time.
For more information on EASL Champions Week, please visit https://www.EASL.basketball or EASL social mediachannels.