Participating for the first time in East Asia super League Terrific 12 in Macau, Philippine club TNT KaTropa is set to face elite teams from B.League Japan and the Korean Basketball League (KBL)

The latest Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) runners-up are grouped under Group D with Liaoning Flying Leopards and Niigata Albirex BB from CBA and B.League, respectively.

TNT listed guards Jayson Castro, RR Pogoy, Brian Heruela, and Don Trollano, and frontcourt players Troy Rosario, Kelly Williams, Harvey Carey, Frank Golla, Marion Magat, Jay Washington, Yousef Taha, Ken Bono, and brothers Anthony and David Semerad on their preliminary roster.

Meanwhile, McKenzie Moore and KJ McDaniels will be reinforcing the team as the imports. Moore was last seen in action with the Mighty Sports-Philippines squad that recently swept the competition at the 2019 William Jones Cup in Taiwan, while former NBA swingman McDaniels is best known with his high-leaping ability and athleticism during his short span in NBA.

All teams are set to battle the two other squads in their division in a single round-robin during the group stage, where only the top-seeded team advances to the knock-out semifinal round. The next two eliminated teams then compete for third place, before the final two standing teams contend for The Terrific 12 championship.

TNT KaTropa Schedule:

September 17, 2019
2100H TNT KaTropa v Liaoning Flying Leopards (Group D)

September 19, 2019
1500H Niigata Albirex v TNT KaTropa (Group D)

September 21, 2019
1900H Seed 1B v Seed 1D*

September 22, 2019
1700H Third Place Game*
1900H Championship Game*
*If necessary

Guo Ailun/ Lioning Flying Leopards
Guo Ailun has been widely regarded as the successor to the ‘Best Point Guard in Asia’ title (Photo: VCG)

The Chinese team is one of the favorites to win the tournament, featuring Chinese national team guards Guo Ailun and Zhao Jiwei, and gargantuan big man Han Dejun. Former NBA players Lance Stephenson and Brandon Bass would be joining the team as imports.

Guo averaged 23.6 points and 5.8 assists in his latest CBA season with Liaoning. He would go head-to-head against Castro, the former FIBA ‘Best Point Guard in Asia’. Stephenson, a key role player from Los Angeles Lakers is expected to bring a ton of firepower. The 28 year-old swingman had 7.2 points, shooting 42.6% per game with Lakers last season.

On the other hand, Kei Igarashi from Japanese club Albirex BB will be his team’s go-to-guy in this annual tournament as well. The 5’11” point guard, though tenured, is still able to put in an average of 11.3 points and 5.1 assists per contest.

Kei Igarashi drives past defenders.
Kei Igarashi of Albirex BB will also test the TnT backcourt (Photo: BLG)

Joining the team would be imports duo Nick Perkins and Lamont Hamilton, the latter is a proven veteran with tons of experience. The American import posted 16.7 points and 9.1 rebounds in average during his last B.League season. His size and chemistry with team will be tough task for the KaTropa.

There are currently 22 networks that will air and stream this year’s event in different markets, with Facebook Live and Youtube Live being the most accessible to fans around the globe (alternatively YouKu, Sina, Tencent Sports, or ZhiboTV for China).

East Asia Super League will host The Terrific 12 on September 17-22 at the Tap Seac Multi-sports Pavilion in Macau, China SAR. Visit Macau Ticket outlets or website to purchase.

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