Long Lions Take Home Three Awards, Parks Named ABL Local MVP

The 2016-16 ABL Awardees with COO Jericho Ilagan.

Before they won their first ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) championship, the Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions took home three trophies prior to gunning for the big one as the league gave out its individual awards ahead of Game 4.

The Long Lions’ haul was led by their prolific import Marcus Elliott who won the World Import MVP award. The guard averaged 24.9 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 6.2 APG, and 1.3 SPG in the regular season as he led Hong Kong Eastern to to top spot. He started the season as a scorer but later on transitioned into more of a playmaker after the arrival of Josh Boone.

Hong Kong Eastern took home two more awards as Tyler Lamb won the ASEAN Heritage MVP award, besting the likes of Joshua Munzon and David Arnold, while Edu Torres was named the Coach of the Year.

The Thai-American, who played for a non-Thai team for the first time in his ABL career, proved to be a good fit for the Long Lions’ high-paced offensive system. Lamb averaged 19.0 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 3.6 APG, and 2.6 SPG for Hong Kong, emerging as one of the leaders of the team.

Torres, a 20-year Spanish league veteran, signed a contract with the Long Lions before their ABL debut and immediately orchestrated his team into a cohesive unit which would end up with the top seed in the regular season.

Torres’ Long Lions reached a handful of milestones in their inaugural season in the league, including setting the record for most three-pointers made in a single game (17). Hong Kong also went on a 10-game winning streak at one stretch, the second longest in ABL history. Torres was able to build a team with amazing ability from the outside while at the same time being one of the best defensive teams in the league.

The Singapore Slingers did not go empty-handed as their behemoth of an import Justin Howard was named the Defensive Player of the Year. 

The three-year ABL veteran has always provided the Slingers with the invaluable presence underneath since signing with Lion City last season. Howard averaged 18.4 RPG and 1.7 BPG throughout the regular season, once again leading the Slingers to a second-seed finish. He helped his squad sweep Alab Pilipinas in the semifinals.

Alab Pilipinas guard Ray Parks Jr rounded out the list of awardees as he was the runaway winner for this year’s Local MVP award.

The former two-time University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP), Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) D-League MVP, Southeast Asian Games gold medalist, and former NBA D-League player added another milestone to his impressive basketball resume.

He averaged 19.0 PPG including 42.5% from three-point area, 7.6 RPG, and 4.2 APG. His first season in the league was highlighted by a 35-point explosion against the Kaohsiung Truth where he set the record for most triples made by a local player in the process.