MANILA, Philippines, 17 October 2017 — The ASEAN Basketball League is about to make another historic stride forward.
The ABL has already enjoyed rapid growth during its eight years of existence and it looks to grow even larger, welcoming an all-time high nine participating teams this season.
Five teams are returning to compete for the ABL title this season. The Hong Kong Eastern will look to defend their crown against familiar foes in the Westports Malaysia Dragons, Singapore Slingers, Saigon Heat, and Alab Pilipinas.
They will be joined by four new teams: Formosa Dreamers (Taiwan), Nanhai Long Lions (China), CLS Knights Indonesia (Indonesia), and Mono Vampire Basketball Club (Thailand).
CLS Knights Indonesia is one of the most storied and oldest clubs in the country and they look to further promote their brand of basketball outside of Indonesia.
Established in 2014, the Mono Vampire Basketball Club of Thailand have made great strides as a basketball club, recently finishing in sixth place in the recent FIBA Asia Champions Cup.
The Formosa Dreamers are replacing the Kaohsiung Truth as Taiwan’s representative this season. The newly established team will be hosting their games at the city of Changhua.
Coming from China are the Nanhai Long Lions and they are looking to use the team as a vessel to give more opportunities for local players in the basketball-crazed nation.
These expansions will further broaden the reach of the ABL, giving a chance for fans of the sport all over the region to experience highly competitive and entertaining basketball.
All teams are allowed to hire two World Imports and two Heritage Imports to bolster their rosters. They will be divided into three groups and will play a total of 20 games (10 home and 10 away) over the course of the season.
The top two teams in the overall standings will directly advance to the semifinals while the third to sixth placers will first have to compete in the quarterfinals stage. The first two rounds of the playoffs will be a best-of-three contest before and ultimately become a best-of-five series in the ABL Finals.
On the opening day of the season on the 17th of November, the ABL will be hosting their very first game in China as the Nanhai Long Lions take on the Singapore Slingers.
With a ground-breaking number of teams from varying cultures, the eighth season of the ASEAN Basketball League will be a monumental step for basketball in the region.