The ASEAN Basketball League today officially announced the inaugural ABL Hoops Fest, which will be held from the 15thto the 17th of March 2013 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The ABL Hoops Fest Saigon 2013 will be hosted by the Saigon Heat.

“This is meant to be a celebration of basketball within ASEAN and a real showcase for how far we’ve come and how much potential there is for the sport in the region,” said ABL CEO Anthony Macri. “We want it to be a chance to come together and demonstrate the highest quality professional sports entertainment in Southeast Asia. We hope it grows into the league’s marquee event that everyone looks forward to each year.”

The ABL Hoops Fest will see all six teams converge in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam for three days in a mid-season mixer as well as other very exciting contests. The matchups for this event were made via a random draw during the pre-season. Points obtained during this event will count towards the teams’ total points for the regular season.

The action packed event gets underway on Friday the 15th at Tan Binh Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam with three back to back games including this week’s ABL Friday Basketball game on FOX SPORTS Asia which will see hosts Saigon Heat take on the Westports Malaysia Dragons at 1900hrs local or 2000hrs HKT (please refer to attached schedule for the rest of the match-ups).

Saturday the 16th will see the Sapporo Saigon Slam Jam 2013, an entire day’s celebration of basketball held at the Phu Tho Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City. Free to public up to 1800hrs local, the Sapporo Saigon Slam Jam 2013 will begin with a charity basketball clinic featuring some of the ABL’s players. A three on three tournament is also scheduled for the day.

“The Sapporo Saigon Slam Jam 2013 is the biggest basketball and music lifestyle event ever organized in Vietnam. At this event, the best basketball players in the ASEAN region will have an opportunity to display their unique talents in a fun and exciting atmosphere complete with celebrities, singers, dancers, and other entertainment. If you love excitement, entertainment and music, you would not want to miss this event!” promised Connor Nguyen, Managing Director of Saigon Heat.

The evening portion of the Slam Jam, which starts at 1900hrs local time, will be ticketed and features the first ever slam dunk contest. The teams have made their own selections and Saturday will see Chris Daniels (Indonesia Warriors), David Palmer (Saigon Heat), Delvin Goh ( Singapore Slingers), Gabe Freeman (San Miguel Beermen), Moala Tautuaa (Westports Malaysia Dragons) and Wutipong Dasom (Chang Thailand Slammers) bring it all out on the floor to gain the accolade of having the best airtime in the league. The winner of this contest will be decided by a panel of judges scheduled to include Tony Fernandes, co-founder of the ABL as well as the founder and CEO of AirAsia and Scott Levy, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of NBA Asia.

The Sapporo Saigon Slam Jam 2013 will also host the ABL’s inaugural 3-point shootout contest. Once again the ABL teams have made their selections and Jai Reyes (Saigon Heat), Leo Avenido (San Miguel Beermen), Lim Sheng Yu ( Singapore Slingers), Mario Wuysang (Indonesia Warriors), Patrick Cabahug (Westports Malaysia Dragons) and Wacharapong Thongsri (Chang Thailand Slammers) will shoot for the right to be crowned the ABL’s most accurate long range shooter.

Sunday the 17th of March will see all the ABL teams hit the floor once again in competition at Tan Binh Stadium, Vietnam (please refer to the schedule attached to this release for more details). This will be the first time in the history of the League that all participating teams will compete in a single venue. With points on the line, these series of games look to be an intense affair.