ASEAN Basketball League Power Rankings – Week 11

Week 11 of the ASEAN Basketball League kicked off with a bang with the Westports Malaysia Dragons and Singapore Slingers delivering another classic game last Friday. 

The Saigon Heat then made it two wins a row and for the first time, someone from the Heat was named Player of the Week in athletic big man Lenny Daniel.

Alab Pilipinas got their bearings back with a huge road victory in Singapore while the Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions continue their hold of the top spot.

 

Here’s what’s been happening around the league:

1. Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions (Current record 8-2, Previous rank: 1)

The Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions remain the league’s number one team as they avoided an upset against the Westports Malaysia Dragons on Sunday.

Hong Kong has now won three straight games with no signs of slowing down. However, their head coach Edu Torres was quick to point out that they’re still a work in progress.

“We’re not a perfect team. We’re far away from being perfect, we’re far away from being good. We try to,” he said.

The Long Lions will look to make it four in row when they visit the Saigon Heat later this week.

2. Singapore Slingers (Current record: 10-4, Previous rank: 2)

The Singapore Slingers have had quite a week. They escaped the Westpors Malaysia Dragons in overtime thriller and then had another heart-stopping game against Alab Pilipinas. They may have won against their rival, but failed to execute against the Philippines in overtime last Sunday.

Wong Wei Long had a chance to finish the game in regulation but missed a free throw that would have given him and his team the victory.

At 10-4, the Slingers do have the most number of wins, but they also twice as many losses compared to the league-leading Long Lions.

3. Alab Pilipinas (Current record: 7-4, Previous rank: 4)

Back in our top three is Alab Pilipinas after their stunning triumph over the Slingers. The Philippines were eager to bounce back from their embarrassing loss at home against the Heat.

“We really needed that win,” said Alab head coach McC Cuan after the game. . “After that loss in Davao, we had to win to get our confidence back.”

There were a lot of heroes for Alab on that day including guard Jens Knuttel who made a crucial defensive play to stop Leon Kwek. James Hughes tallied 14 points and 8 rebounds while Lawrence Domingo was his usual energetic self, coming up with 13 points and 8 rebounds.

4. Saigon Heat (Current record: 3-7, Previous rank: 5)

The Saigon Heat have now won back-to-back games for the first time this season. After their shocking win over Alab, they continued their winning ways against the Kaohsiung Truth.

Lenny Daniel got the Player of the Week nod after leading his team against the Truth with 32 points on an efficient 13-of-19 shooting clip.

Last year’s semifinalists have had a rocky season so far but their first win streak may be a sign of better things to come. They’re at fifth place with a 3-7 record and they’re closing in on the Truth who have a 4-8 record.

5. Kaohsiung Truth (Current record: 4-8, Previous rank: 3)

After their three-game home stretch the week before, the Kaohsiung Truth made their way to Vietnam only to find a rejuvenated and more determined Heat squad.

The zone defense has been a staple for the Truth, but the Heat was able to counter that strategy. The Truth play the zone almost exclusively and it will be interesting to see if they try to shake things up in their next game.

The Truth will be back on their home floor when they take on the Slingers on Sunday.

6. Westports Malaysia Dragons (Current record: 2-9, Previous rank: 6)

The Westports Malaysia Dragons faltered in their two games last week. They first lost in overtime against Singapore and then failed to mount a comeback in Hong Kong.

Despite their struggles, the Dragons have a lot to look forward with the signing of new World Import Kiwi Gardner. Gardner introduced himself to the ABL in stunning fashion, dropping 37 points in his debut. He was slowed down by the Long Lions in their last game, but you can be sure that he will be an integral component in the team’s success moving forward.