MACAU – The Macau Black Bears, formerly Chong Son Kung Fu, were quick to announce that they will be re-signing 2017-2018 World Import MVP Anthony Tucker for the upcoming ASEAN Basketball League season.
Tucker’s MVP season saw him average 22.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 7.8 assists per game. He also shot 39.5% from downtown and set the record for most three-pointers made in a season with 73 in total.
Anthony Tucker signed on a World Import for the Chong Son Kung Fu last season without much fanfare. He was a relatively lesser-known player and didn’t have the eye-widening highlights on Youtube to provide much excitement.
“I won’t help other teams scout [him] and they will find out for themselves pretty quickly of what type of player Anthony is.” General Manager Lukas Peng stated before the start of last season.
“Coming into [last] season I wasn’t that familiar with the Asian basketball scene and they weren’t familiar with me.” Tucker says. While Tucker didn’t take much time to adjust, opposing teams still have trouble handling him even after an entire season of watching him torch them on the court.
It didn’t take long for Tucker to demand everyone’s attention and take the league by storm. He dropped an all-time high 31 points for a debut game in the league and followed that up with back-to-back triple doubles.
The smooth sharpshooter out of Minnesota is back in the ABL this season and though his team has changed names and colors, he plans to bring back the same excellent level of play — and more.
“Our goal this season is to win and to have an even better season than we did last year,” Tucker says. “Moving to Macau will be exciting. [We’re] looking forward to being the first professional team there. Being able to build a basketball culture for the fans, as well as the youth, is something that will be cool.”
The decision to bring back Tucker to the team were a no brainer for Peng and it was as easy a decision for Tucker himself to consider a return.
“Anthony Tucker was our offensive motor last season and being the World Import MVP proves he was one of the best players in the league,” Peng says of his prized superstar. “Having said that, I really believe he still has room to be better this season.
“Of course, he was one of our top priorities but we also knew he deserved a fair deal as he’s in his prime of his career. We were able to get the deal done because Anthony really wanted to be back.”
“Losing in the playoffs was hard to swallow for all of us and we feel like there is unfinished business. Even after having made the move to Macau, we will carry over all the positive things we had accomplished in Foshan [last season].”
After a spectacular debut regular season in the ABL for the franchise, Chong Son Kung Fu fell short and got swept 0-2 in the Semifinals of the playoffs. They had finished with a 15-5 record, a perfect home record, two MVP award for Tucker and Mikh McKinney, and a Coach of the Year award for Charles Dube-Brais, but falling short of even reaching the Finals hurt.
“Coming back to the ABL was an easy decision for me,” Tucker says. “We feel like we could have finished better and would like the opportunity to achieve more in the playoffs.“
Tucker has poured in hours and hours in the gym during the offseason, getting ready to come back better than ever. After seeing what he had already accomplished and did in the previous ABL season, that should be a dangerous sign for the other nine teams in the league that will have to figure out how to contain him.
“I’m just working on being as complete of a basketball player as possible,” Tucker says. “Obviously, I will still bring the same elements to the table, although I hope I shoot the ball a little more efficiently this year. That’s something I am focused on doing.”