In celebration of Philippines’ and France’s 75th year of diplomatic ties, French Ambassador Michèle Boccoz and Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) team Blackwater owner Dioceldo “Deo” Sy will be bringing one of Europe’s biggest basketball teams Asvel Lyon from France, for a series of friendly matches in Manila.
The friendly games, known as League 75, will be happening on August 31, 2022 until September 4, 2022. PBA teams Blackwater Bossing and NLEX Road Warriors, along with the East Asia Super League’s (EASL) Bay Area Dragons will be competing with Asvel Lyon.
Founded in 1948, Asvel Lyon is the most successful in French Basketball with 21 Pro A (top-tier men’s professional basketball league in France) championships and 10 French Cup titles. In 2014, five-time NBA champion, Tony Parker, became the president of the club.
Basketball fans can also look forward to the participation of the Bay Area Dragons, a brand new professional basketball club seeded by EASL to represent Greater China in the EASL league games. The club will play under head coach, Brian Goorjian, the six-time Australian National Basketball League (NBL) champion who led the Australian national team to their first-ever Olympic medal (Tokyo Olympics, bronze medal)
Meanwhile, with the PBA well into the conference season, its teams, Blackwater Bossing and NLEX Road Warriors, are set to boost their skills with the exciting matches against Asvel Lyon.
Blackwater Bossing, formerly known as Blackwater Elite, is a PBA professional basketball team owned by Mr. Dioceldo Sy. Before joining the association in the 2014-2015 PBA season, it was one of the founding teams of the PBA Developmental (D)-League where it won one championship. Meanwhile, its counterpart, the NLEX Road Warriors also joined PBA that same season. Prior to becoming part of PBA, it was a six-time champion in the PBA D-League.
“Asvel Lyone is a 20-time European champion that’s at par with or equivalent to the teams of the US’ National Basketball Association (NBA),” explained Sy, adding that the participation of Blackwater in one of the matches will ultimately strengthen the team’s synergy as they gear up for the upcoming PBA season.
“The mere experience of playing with the world’s top caliber players is already a privilege. At least the team would feel how the game is being played on that level. It’s very exciting!” he added.
A first in the annual celebration of the diplomatic ties between Philippines and France, the sporting event aims to further deepen and broaden the friendship and partnership between the two nations through basketball.
“Ambassador Michèle knows that basketball is a big thing here. Before she decided to bring the French basketball team in, I invited her to watch a basketball game at Araneta Coliseum, and she was amazed by how jampacked the venue was, even if it was only a semi-finals match, and how Filipinos were very passionate,” shared Sy.
As one of the major sponsors of League 75, Sy promises many exciting events for sports and basketball enthusiasts alike. Apart from the friendly games, Tony Parker will also be visiting the country.
“Tony Parker will come with the team. He will watch the game against Bay Area Dragons and join the courtesy call to President Bongbong Marcos on August 30,” shared Sy.
Tony Parker and Asvel Lyon will be in Manila from August 28, 2022 until September 01, 2022. The League 75 will open with Asvel Lyon against Bay Area Dragons on August 31, 2022. It will be followed by the game against PBA NLEX Road Warriors on September 2, 2022. Asvel Lyon will conclude their trip to Manila with a game against PBA Blackwater on September 4, 2022. All these games are happening here at Araneta Coliseum.