ASEAN Basketball League is a go


By Les Tan/Red Sports


Wei Long (in red) of Singapore takes on Faisal Ahmad from the ASEAN Basketball League selection. The 20-minute friendly match preceded Bryant’s training clinic, and the ABL selection team won 37-25. (Photo 1 © Les Tan/Red Sports)

The ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) is set to be announced on August 9th in Bangkok, Thailand.

So far, the league has lined up six teams from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Brunei.

The ABL board met before the Kobe Bryant event in Singapore last week to confirm teams, schedule and TV coverage.

“I am very excited about creating a truly ASEAN sports brand that will reach out to the 600 million of our fellow South East Asians and to unite them in a regional sporting experience,” said Tony Fernandes, the chairman of the ABL.

Each team of 12 players is allowed five imports – two international and three ASEAN players.

The Philippines and Indonesia will have two teams in the league because the size and reach of the game in those countries.

Singapore will be represented by the Slingers. The other known teams are the KL Dragons of Malaysia and Satria Muda of Indonesia.

“We will increase our home game schedule of eight regular season ABL games with a continued Challenge Series of a minimum four home games with the first game scheduled for August 30th,” said Bob Turner, chairman of the Singapore Slingers.

“This will combine for a minimum twelve home games before the ABL playoffs and have the Slingers players and coaches active in the markplace on a weekly basis for seven months,” he added.

Last week, an ASEAN selection team took on a Singapore selection before the start of the Kobe Bryant event to give fans a taste of things to come.

The ASEAN team, which featured Al Vergarra who played for the Slingers last season, jumped out to a quick 9-2 lead and never let up as they imposed themselves on the game with intelligent ball movement coupled with accurate jumpers.

The ABL selection team extended their advantage and led 21-8 at the half after their opponents had 3 consecutive turnovers.

The Singapore team cut the deficit to 10 when they opened the second half with a trey, but that was as close as they could get, as the ABL selection team maintained their double-digit lead till the end, when the final buzzer signaled a 37-25 win for them.

ABL selection team:
#2 Al Vergara
#3 Faisal Ahmad
#4 Amin Prihantono
#7 Rony Gunawan
#9 Youbel Sondakh
#10 Rico Maierhoffer
#11 Jerwin Gaco
#12 Chee Li Wei
#13 Benedict Fernandez
#14 Chester Taylor
#15 Christian Ronaldo

Singapore selection team:
#2 Desmond Oh Wei Jie
#4 Loh Teck How
#5 Wong Wei Long
#8 Goh Yao Ming
#9 Daryl Ong Wei
#10 Hong Wei Jian
#11 Michael Wong Soon Yuh
#12 Steven Khoo Kian Huat
#13 Pathman Matialakan
#14 Lim Wai Sian
#15 Gary Koh Kok Siang


Goh Yao Ming turning out for the Singapore Selection team. (Photo 2 © Les Tan/Red Sports)


Amin Prihantono of the ABL Selection goes for two. With a regional league, bball fans will get to see some good talent in Singapore. (Photo 3 © Les Tan/Red Sports)


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