The ASEAN Basketball League, often abbreviated to the ABL, is a men’s professional basketball league in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Six clubs from six different countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) competed in the league’s 2009 inaugural season. The league was proposed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and launched on 1 October 2009.
Basketball officials from 6 ASEAN nations gathered in Metro Manila on 1 September 2009 to officially launch the new league. Teams that participated in the inaugural season were the Brunei Barracudas, Kuala Lumpur Dragons, Philippine Patriots, SM BritAma, Thailand Tigers and former National Basketball League team, the Singapore Slingers. Mirroring the Euroleague in the west, the ABL has its own set of rules in terms of its roster makeup and salary caps. Teams are permitted two imports of non-ASEAN citizenship, three ASEAN imports, one player with one Southeast Asian parent, and seven local players. Teams are allowed to field a team of all local players if they wish to do so.
In July 2012, the league announced that Kuhan Foo, CEO since the ABL’s inception, was moving on to a position leading additional regional sports properties. In his place, the league named Anthony Macri as the next CEO, and he will lead the ABL into Season 4 in early 2013, but after one season he left the league to rejoin his family in the US.
On 22 September 2011, the Brunei Barracudas announced that they were bowing out of the third season of ABL after participating for 2 seasons.
On 20 October 2011, the Saigon Sports Academy officially announced the participation of Saigon Heat into the third season of ABL, making them the first ever international professional basketball team to represent Vietnam.
In 2012, San Miguel Beermen and Bangkok Cobras joined the league aside from Saigon Heat. Unfortunately, after one season, the Cobras left the league with the Beermen leaving after they won the title in 2013.
In 2014, Laskar Dreya South Sumatra (INA) joined ABL, but they left after the 2014 season.
In 2015, Pilipinas MX3 Kings and Mono Vampire joined the league. Unfortunately, both teams left the league in 2016.
On 17 July 2016, it was announced that Kaohsiung Truth, a team from Kaohsiung, Taiwan will participate in the 2016–17 season. This will be the first time that a team outside Southeast Asia will compete in the league.
On 30 July 2016, another team outside Southeast Asia, the Eastern Basketball Club confirmed its participation in the league, being the second non-Southeast Asian team to join the league.
On 6 August 2016, Alab Pilipinas from the Philippines is the newest team to join ABL. The team is owned by Dondon Monteverde and player-agent Charlie Dy.