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Olympic bronze medalist Brian Goorijan to coach Bay Area for EASL, PBA Comm's Cup

Brian Goorijan, who led Australia to an Olympic bronze last year, will coach Bay Area this season.
By Dugout Philippines

MANILA—The Bay Area Dragons signed Brian Goorjian as head coach and will call the shots for the team when it sees action in the East Asia Super League (EASL) and as guest team in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

The Dragons made the announcement on Thursday after signing Goorjian for two seasons.

Goorjian, 68, is known for leading the Australian national team to its first ever Olympic medal, winning the bronze in the Tokyo Games last year.

He is also a six-time champion in the Australian National Basketball League (NBL) and six-time Coach of the Year as well.

"I am honored to be appointed as the Bay Area Dragons’ head coach, and I am looking forward to the challenge. Being the first guest club in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) in two decades while competing in the premier league in Asia, East Asia Super League, is an exciting prospect," Goorjian said.

Goorjian and the Dragons are set to take their acts in the PBA for the mid-season conference as they will make Manila its temporary home for the EASL due to COVID-induced, travel-related issue in the team’s home city of Hong Kong SAR.

The 6-foot-3 Goorjian, a product of Pepperdine, will manage a roster of top free agents from Hong Kong SAR, Mainland China, Chinese Taipei and Macau SAR for its local players.

Like the rest of the teams in EASL, the Dragons will also have one Asian import and two foreign import players, making up its dynamic roster.

In the PBA, the team will play with one import with a 6-foot-10 and below height limit.

“Brian Goorjian is one of the best coaches in the world and holds a deep understanding of Asian basketball. Without a doubt, he will make this club very competitive. He’s developed some of the best players in Asia and coached the best teams. Goorjian’s accolades speak for themselves,” said East Asia Super League (EASL) CEO Matt Beyer.

“With Coach Goorjian at the helm, the Dragons will deliver a product that all Chinese fans can be proud of. As the first-ever Chinese club to play internationally in a foreign league, the goal of our organization is foundation and to build a team that'll be at the top of the standings. Coach Goorjian is the first step in doing so,” said Bay Area Dragons general manager, Liu Quansheng.

EASL, which has a ten-year agreement with FIBA, will bring eight of Asia's best teams in the region's top leagues together every week to compete for a USD 1 million prize. It aims to be one of the top three leagues in the world by audience size and commercial revenue by 2025.

The newly formed Bay Area Dragons franchise and the champion team from Chinese Taipei’s P. LEAGUE+ will be the Greater China representatives in the home-and-away league.

The Dragons will play and live in Metro Manila in one of the highest-end hotels the city has to offer, equipped with the best features and services.

Games will be held at Smart Araneta Coliseum or the SM Mall of Asia Arena with thousands in attendance.

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