Manila has been chosen to host the Final 4 of the East Asia Super League (EASL) Season 1 which will happen in March 2023, it was announced on Wednesday.
The semifinal round tips off on March 3 featuring two games and a music festival on March 4. The finals will take place on March 5.
It will serve as perfect a warm-up event to the FIBA World Cup, which takes place in Indonesia, Japan, and the Philippines in August 2023.
"We couldn't ask for a better city to host the first EASL Final 4. I would like to thank the local government authorities, our colleagues at the Philippine Basketball Association, and the Filipino fans for welcoming us. The Final 4 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 in the PBA website.
Fully vaccinated players will no longer need pre-departure or on-arrival COVID testing and quarantine.
"The decision to stage the inaugural EASL Final 4 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 4 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 secured one of two PBA berths to represent the country in the kick-off season on Oct. 12 by reaching the Philippine Cup finals.
Among competing teams are reigning champion Seoul SK Knights and runner-up Anyang KGC of the Korean Basketball League (KBL), Taipei Fubon Braves of the P. League, the Utsonomiya Brex and Ryukyu Golden Kings of the Japan B.League, and Bay Area Dragons of Greater China.
At the same time, EASL also announced the Final 4 Weekend for Season 2 taking place in early 2024, will be held in Okinawa, Japan.