By REYNALD MAGALLON
The Dragons are back for their unfinished business in the PBA.
Last season’s guest team Bay Area officially announced its return to the Philippine shore as it is, once again, set to participate in the upcoming PBA 48th Season Commissioner’s Cup.
The Dragons went all the way to the finals in the import-flavored mid-season conference where they collided against the eventual champions Barangay Ginebra Kings in an epic and record-breaking Game 7 at the Philippine Arena.
“Yes, you read that right, the Dragons will be BACK IN THE PBA for the Commissioner’s Cup. After making the Finals last season, can they go all the way in 2024?,” the team announced on its social media page.
Aside from the PBA, Bay Area will also be seeing action in the EASL where it was also drawn with Ginebra along with B.LEAGUE champs Ryukyu Golden Kings, and Korean Basketball League runners-up Seoul SK Knights.
The Dragons also unveiled a new logo as the team also announced that they will be playing in Hong Kong as its home turf during for the EASL which will now employ a home-and-away format.
Meantime, the Bay Area Dragons will make Hong Kong its home beginning in August 2023, with games being played between October 2023 and March 2024.
The Bay Area Dragons, the groundbreaking professional basketball team created by East Asia Super League (EASL) to represent Greater China talent, will be located in Hong Kong for most of the 2023-24 season, also spending time in Manila.
The Bay Area Dragons will play EASL home games at Southorn Stadium. This will include three home games in the East Asia Super League Season 2 group stage, against Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner’s Cup champions Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, Japan B.LEAGUE 2022-23 champions Ryukyu Golden Kings, and Korean Basketball League 2022-23 runners-up Seoul SK Knights.
“We expect the Dragons to bring Hong Kongers immense excitement, inspiration and pride. Dragons’ games will be the hottest sports tickets in town,” said EASL CEO and co-founder Matt Beyer.
“The PBA is very excited about adding in a Hong Kong element to our upcoming Commissioner’s Cup, and we look forward to the Bay Area Dragons team re-joining the PBA,” said PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial.
The Dragons squad for 2023-24 is currently being assembled. It will include Chinese stars Zhu Songwei and Liu Chuanxing, who played with the team in 2022-23.
Several other players from last season will be returning and they will be joined by exciting new talent. The team will also include Team Hong Kong captain Duncan Reid and former South China standout Glen Yang.