The Singapore Slingers in action against the Barracudas in October 2009. With the pullout of the Barracudas, ABL teams won’t be travelling to Brunei for the third season. (Photo © Les Tan/Red Sports archive)
Brunei, Thursday, September 22, 2011 — The Brunei Barracudas will not take part in the third season of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL).
No reason was given for the pullout but the Barracudas failed to make the playoffs in the first two seasons. With a weak bench, the team at times relied only on their starting five — who were all imports — to play the whole game.
“Our experience in the ASEAN Basketball League has been very rewarding,” said Ms. Nadzaty Azma Azeez, team owner of the Brunei Barracudas. “Being part of the league has given our players the opportunity to play with some of the best in the region.”
“The Brunei Barracudas would love to continue to be a part of the ABL for Season 3, so it is with our deepest regret that we make the announcement to pull ourselves out of the league next year,” added Nadzaty.
“We are disappointed that the Barracudas will not be joining us next year,” Mr. Kuhan Foo, CEO of the ASEAN Basketball League stated. “They have supported us throughout our first two seasons and have been the poster boys for never say die attitude.”
“We use the Barracudas model of professional management, players training and strategies that saw them take the fight to and often beat better teams with larger squads. Never has such a small nation stood tall among the best in the region. We hope in due time we will see the Barracudas rejoin the league with renewed vigor to match the best of ASEAN,” added Kuhan.
The league had earlier announced in August 2011 that a new Thai team would join the ABL for the third season. Tom Griffin and Jeffrey Premer are the team owners.
Tom Griffin, owner of Bangkok Basketball Holdings, commented: “We feel that the ABL is positioned to be a force in the sports community, not just in ASEAN but throughout Asia. Bangkok Basketball plans to be a part of that growth. We are excited to be a part of basketball’s growth in South East Asia.”
The addition of the new Thai team, which has yet to be named, means there will be two Bangkok-based teams. The other is the defending champions Thailand Slammers.
The other new team in the league is the San Miguel Beermen from the Philippines Basketball Association. Satria Muda BritAma (Indonesia), KL Dragons (Malaysia), Singapore Slingers and the inaugural 2009 champions, the Philippine Patriots make up the rest of the seven-team league.