ASEAN Basketball League Power Rankings – Week 6

The ASEAN Basketball League resumed action last week with four incredible games that welcomed us into 2017. The Singapore Slingers remain the league’s team-to-beat while the Kaohsiung Truth finally notched its victory in franchise history.

We’ve had an interesting start to the New Year with no signs of slowing down. Here are your Power Rankings for this week:

1. Singapore Slingers (Current record 7-1, Previous Rank: 1)

The Slingers got a pair of hard-earned wins over their rivals and defending champions Westports Malaysia Dragons. They first won on Malaysia’s home floor and then followed that up with a tremendous double overtime victory in Singapore.

Big man Justin Howard got the Player of the Week nod with two impressive stat lines last week. He first erupted for 26 points and 27 rebounds on Friday, and then on Sunday, put up 22 points and 10 rebounds while even though he was hampered with foul trouble.

At seven wins and just one loss, the Slingers remain on top of our Power Rankings.  

2. Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions (Current record 4-1, Previous Rank: 2)

The Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions resume their ABL campaign when they host the Westports Malaysia Dragons this Friday, January 13.

The defending champs are coming off two gut-wrenching losses so you can be sure they’ll do everything they can to bounce back.

3. Alab Pilipinas (Current record 3-2, Previous Rank: 3)

Meanwhile, Alab Pilipinas got their third win of the season at the expense of Kaohsiung Truth. It didn’t matter that they were on the road as they continued their dominance over the Taiwan team.

Alab debuted their new World Imports last Sunday in Sampson Carter and James Hughes. Even though they were in a new system, and not to mention new-timers in the ABL, they produced the numbers that Alab needed.

Carter registered 23 points on 60 percent shooting plus 6 rebounds and 6 assists. The 6’11” Hughes provided the Philippine team a much needed inside presence as he scored 10 points and hauled down 9 rebounds.

4. Kaohsiung Truth (Current record 1-5, Previous Rank: 6)

Even though the Kaohsiung Truth suffered another defeat at the hands of Alab Pilipinas they do have something to be proud about as they finally got their first win on Saturday against the Saigon Heat.

Chris Oliver went for a double-double of 25 points and 13 rebounds. More than the scoring however, it was the Truth’s work on the defensive end that was notable. New head coach Sabatino Chen has implored a more defensive approach to their game. The Heat only shot 41 percent from the field, including 25 percent from downtown.

5. Westports Malaysia Dragons (Current record 1-3, Previous Rank: 4)

As the Slingers won back-to-back games, the Westports Malaysia Dragons continue to look for their rhythm having just one win in four games.

The Dragons are one of the youngest teams in the league. Despite being the reigning champions, their current roster is very different from last year’s lineup.

“At the end of the day, it comes down to our guys to continue to get better and trusting the path,” said Dragons head coach Christopher Thomas. “Look at where we were versus where we are now. We got to trust the process and continue to trust what we are doing good.”

The Dragons will have their hands full when they take on the Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions next.

6. Saigon Heat (Current record 0-4, Previous Rank: 5)

The Saigon Heat remain only the winless team in the ABL. They were close to beating the Kaohsiung Truth but unfortunately fell short in the end. Lenny Daniel had another solid outing of 25 points and 12 rebounds but the Heat weren’t able to slow down Chris Oliver and the rest of the Truth.

Still missing the services of ABL veteran and former MVP Chris Charles, the Heat signed Haminn Quaintance. The big man went for 19 points and 9 rebounds in the losing effort.

The Heat will have a chance to avenge their loss last Saturday when the Truth visit their home floor this weekend.