Hong Kong to host elite club basketball matches against opponents from Japan, Korea and the Philippines in Hong Kong
Hong Kong SAR, July 19, 2023: The Bay Area Dragons, the new face of Chinese basketball, featuring top professional players from mainland China, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei and the Chinese diaspora, will call Hong Kong their home from August 2023, with matches to be played between October 2023 and March 2024.
The Bay Area Dragons, the innovative professional basketball team created by the East Asian Super League (EASL) to represent talent from Greater China, will be based in Hong Kong for most of the 2023-24 season, also spending time in Manila.
The Bay Area Dragons will play the EASL home games at Southern Stadium. This will include three games at home in the group stage of Season 2 of the Oriental Asia Super Le 3, Seoul Sk Knights.
“We hope that the Dragons will bring immense excitement, inspiration and pride to Hong Kongers. The Dragons games will be the best sports tickets in town,” said EASL CEO and Co-Founder Matt Beyer.
The Dragons will also play home games in Hong Kong as part of the 2024 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup. The team enters the Philippine championship for the second season after a very successful first season in 2022-23. Participation in the Commissioner’s Cup will mean the Dragons will spend parts of the season in Manila.
“The PBA is very excited to add a Hong Kong element to our upcoming Commissioner’s Cup, and we look forward to seeing the Bay Area Dragons team rejoin the PBA,” said PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial.
The Dragons are operating in Hong Kong in association with the local team Chun Yu Basketball Club and with recognition from the Hong Kong Basketball Association. Under the association with Chun Yu Basketball Club, the full name of the Dragons for the 2023-24 season will be Chun Yu Bay Area Dragons. Last season, the team was simply called the Bay Area Dragons.
The Dragons team for 2023-24 is currently being assembled. It will include Chinese stars Zhu Songwei and Liu Chuanxing, who played for the team in 2022-23. Several other players from last season will return and will be joined by exciting new talent. The squad will also include Hong Kong team captain Duncan Reid and former South China standout Glen Yang.
The Dragons will continue to be led by their world-class coaching staff comprising: Head Coach Brian Goorjian, General Manager Liu Quansheng, assisted by Assistant General Manager Garrison Guo, Assistant Coaches William Tomlinson and Jimmy Li, and Strength and Conditioning Coach Francesco Berre.
The Dragons will enter the 2023-24 season with a new look, as the team’s logo and branding have been redesigned. There will also be a new uniform design for the team this season. A graphic of the new logo will be available in the media pack accompanying this release. The logo and branding will be featured on social media posts in the coming days on the Bay Area Dragons and East Asia Super League accounts.
Supporting Hong Kong basketball
Through the Chun Yu Basketball Club, the Dragons will connect to the Hong Kong youth basketball scene and play a significant role in supporting it. Plans are underway for clinics and workshops led by Dragons coaches, to educate and inspire local athletes, promising young talent and coaches.
“The Chun Yu Basketball Club has a long tradition in Hong Kong, and we are excited to support the Bay Area Dragons in bringing a new level of international club basketball to Hong Kong,” said Sherman Yeung, President of the Chun Yu Basketball Club.
The Dragons will also continue their strong record of community outreach, with plans to connect with and support local community groups and charities in Hong Kong. When they established themselves in Manila last year, the Dragones were involved in several successful initiatives with local charities, as well as the Chinese embassy.
The Dragons’ new base in Hong Kong also means that the team’s marketing and commercial teams will be active in the market.
The business team will establish mutually beneficial partnerships with local and international companies keen to partner with Hong Kong’s largest professional sports team. These will include engaging and interactive activations for Dragons fans and other Hong Kongers.
The Dragons marketing team is already active creating content around the team at their new base. This content will put the city of Hong Kong and its basketball scene in the spotlight throughout the season.
EASL and Dragons will be posting more information in the coming weeks on the full Dragons roster for 2022-23, the game schedule and how to purchase game tickets.
Dragons coming out of breakout season
In 2022-23, the Bay Area Dragons partnered with the Philippine Basketball Association to compete in the Commissioner’s Cup, one of the PBA’s three major annual national championships.
Over the course of a remarkable season, the Dragons finished atop the regular season standings and made it all the way to Game 7 of the Commissioner’s Cup Finals, ultimately being defeated by Barangay Ginebra San Miguel. The Finals drew huge crowds, culminating in a mind-boggling crowd of 55,000 for Game 7 at the Philippine Arena in Manila, which broke the PBA single-game attendance record.
The Dragons’ PBA run electrified Filipino fans and left a lasting mark on the local basketball scene. So much so, that the PBA and its teams were overjoyed to welcome the Dragons back for a second season.
EASL Season 2 has been given a special touch with the Dragons drawn in the same group as Barangay Ginebra San Miguel. This means at least two additional games between the rivals in 2023-24, this time on the pan-regional stage, vying for regional championship honours.