Chang Thailand Slammers vs. Saigon Heat
Sunday 15th January 2012, Tip-off 3pm Local Time, Thai Japanese Association Gym, Bangkok, Thailand
Defending champions the Chang Thailand Slammers will begin their third season in the AirAsia ABL at home, hosting rookies Saigon Heat.
The Slammers have had a quiet pre-season game-wise, mainly due to difficulties for the players to come in for adequate training sessions due to the severe flood conditions that plagued the country in late 2011. The defending champions will have a lot of new faces on their team this season. They will be powered by two American imports, Kenneth Walker and Deandre Thomas. The Slammers also acquired two ASEAN imports Ramsey Williams who played for the Brunei Barracudas last season and 6’2’’ guard Jonathan Aldave. Three Local players Attaporn Lertmalaiporn, Sopon Pinitpatcharalert, and Sukdave Gougar return to the team to help the Slammers defend their title.
The Saigon Heat’s pre-season campaign has been very rocky to say the least. Although they were part of the AirAsia ABL contingent that traveled to Bangkok for the pre-season tournament, they were only able to put together their playing squad mere days before having to fly off for the competition, resulting in a losing streak throughout the tournament. The team has since gotten more practice time in preparation for the league’s tip-off however and with notable imports like former NBA player Julius Hodge and Jonathan Jones in their squad under the tutelage of coach Robert Newsom, the Heat should it is far too soon to count them out just yet. The Heat has also since recruited a three ASEAN import combo which includes guard John Smith, sharp shooter Sopheun Oeun and big man Mark Andaya to help them excel in their first season with the AirAsia ABL.
Saigon Heat’s Filipino-American guard John Smith’s contributions this Sunday will be vital for his team. Smith is a combo guard that creates space for his teammates and is also a great scorer. If he can continue to put up big numbers in his first game in a Saigon Heat jersey for the AirAsia ABL, the Heat might just steal this game from the defending champions. As for the Slammers, their guard Attaporn Lertmalaiporn looks like he is going to be a key contributor this season. He has had a lot of experience playing international basketball and his ability to hit long range shots and drive to the basket strong, will be the key for the Slammers to repeat their success last season.
Come and support your favourite team! Admission is free to the game which will be at the Thai Japanese Association Gym in Bangkok Thailand.