Back to reality: filming begins before the launch of the Asian league
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Steve Nash will get a behind-the-scenes look at East Asian Super League Season 1 talent long before the competition or a spin-off reality series hits screens.
The pan-regional basketball league began production of a reality series covering the inaugural season.
Korean director John H. Lee will helm the project and will work with executive producers Ezra Holland, head of NBA great Nash-owned CTRL Media, and Jonah Greenberg of Chinese company Salty Pictures.
The eight-team league will launch in October and will feature winners and runners-up from the Japanese, South Korean and Philippine leagues as well as Taiwanese champions and the Bay Area Dragons, a roster of players from across greater China originally based in Manila.
Filming began last month in the Philippines at a ceremony to determine the groups for season 1.
Nash, who played 18 seasons in the NBA and is the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, said the idea of the reality project about the new league “resonated immediately.”
“Fans can focus on players’ accomplishments and shortcomings on the pitch without understanding the full picture.” Nash said in a statement. “This series is the perfect opportunity to show our fans more of what happens behind closed doors.
“Everyone will be able to appreciate the mental and physical challenges that professional athletes face and overcome to stay on top of their game.”
Philippine Basketball Association commissioner Willie Marcial said there would be no shortage of stories to tell.
“The Philippines is a very passionate country for basketball, and the PBA is a league full of dynamic players and dynamic fans,” Marcial said. “We fully welcome and support this production.”
The Bay Area Dragons have assembled a team of players from across greater China to be mentored by Australian Boomers head coach Brian Goorjian, with the series potentially offering a glimpse into the club’s growth from the ground up.
“We’ve put together the best possible roster for our first season in the EASL and PBA,” Bay Area Dragons general manager Liu Quansheng said. “I’m very excited to see what these players will do when they’re not on the pitch.”
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