San Miguel, TNT to complete Japan for EASL
PBA teams San Miguel and TNT left for Japan on Tuesday to banner the Philippines in the East Asia Super League (EASL) Champions Week from March 1 to 5, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.
Led by six-time MVP June Mar Fajardo, who is coming fresh off of Gilas Pilipinas' 91-90 loss to Jordan on Monday, the Beermen headed to Okinawa while TNT departed Manila for Utsunomiya for the tournament set to be participated by top basketball clubs in Asia.
The Tropang Giga, who finished as runners-up in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup, will battle the Utsunomiya Brex with Daniel Ochefu and Jalen Hudson, a replacement for Governors Cup regular import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, reinforcing the team.
Hollis-Jefferson failed to secure his Japan visa in time for the tournament.
TNT is clustered in Group B alongside Utsunomiya, Seoul SK Knights, and recent PBA Commissioner’s Cup guest team and runner-up Bay Area Dragons.
Meanwhile, the reigning Philippine Cup champions Beermen will kick off their campaign on Thursday against a Ryukyu Golden Kings side that features three-time PBA Best Import Allen Durham and young Gilas Pilipinas stalwart Carl Tamayo.
Cameron Clark and Jessie Govan will serve as imports for San Miguel.
San Miguel is in Group A together with Ryukyu, Taipei Fubon Braves, and Anyang KGC, where Filipino import and former NCAA Rookie MVP Rhenz Abando is currently suiting up.
The top two teams to emerge in Group A and B will dispute the championship and the $250,000 prize purse that comes with it, while the no. 2 teams in each group battle for third place.
The runner up will receive $100,000 and third place will take home $50,000.
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