The East Asia Super League has decided to shelve its inaugural home-and-away season due to Covid-19-related concerns, the league announced on Monday, Sept. 26.

The EASL Season 1, which features the top teams from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Philippines, was supposed to open on Oct. 12 with Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beer taking on Korean Basketball League second placer Anyang KGC in Korea, and TNT locking horns with Bay Area at home.

“East Asia Super League (EASL) is announcing that the season format for Season 1 of competition format is under discussion with each league to take place in a tournament format, taking into account ongoing COVID-19-related issues throughout the region,” it said in a statement.

“EASL’s focus is on operating Season 1 of game play in a responsible manner that allows for partner leagues to carry on with their domestic leagues uninterrupted by precarious travel situations,” it added.

In place for the scrapped Season 1 plans is an invitational tournament called “EASL Champions Week” which will still feature the eight teams and is being planned to be held in Manila in early 2023.

Aside from the Philippine representatives — SMB and TNT, Korea’s Anyang and Hong Kong’s Bay Area, other teams that will be participating in the tournament are the Japan B. League’s Utsonomiya Brex and Ryukyu Golden Kings, Taiwan’s Taipei Fubon Braves and Korean champions Seoul SK Knights.

EASL said it will still push through with its home-and-away season but will be moved to around September to October next year.

Source: Manila Bulletin (