As we are about to embark on the 9th season of the ASEAN Basketball League, let’s take a look back at the first ever ABL game on it’s anniversary of October 10th.
Here are 8 things you should know about the first game ever played in the ASEAN Basketball League!
- The inaugural game of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) was played on October 10, 2009. The game was held at Britama Arena in Jakarta Indonesia between the home team, Satria Muda Britama, against the visiting Philippine Patriots.
- Aside from the estimated 3,000 spectators in the crowds, the game was also televised regionally on ESPN.
- The first points ever scored in ABL history was off a three-pointer by 35-year-old Robert Wainwright. It was also the first attempt of the game as well. He finished the game with 15 points. Wainwright went on to have a fiery shooting season, scoring 8.5 PPG with 2.5 RPG and shot 41.2% from downtown. The 6’5″ native from California played for another season with the Patriots in 2012 before signing on as an Assistant Coach with the Saigon Heat until 2014.
- The first assist ever in ABL history was recorded by Froilan Baguion, the Filipino point guard who currently holds the ABL’s All-Time record for assists with 569. His assist came from a pass to Wainwright for his second three-pointer early in the first quarter. The 5’7″ passing wizard finished his debut game with 8 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. Baguion had one of the longest and most storied careers in the ABL with 6 seasons in total with 6 teams including the Chang Thailand Slammers, San Miguel Beermen, SportsRev Thailand Slammers, Saigon Heat, and Mono Vampire.
Froilan Baguion recorded the first assist in ABL history on his way to the All-Time ABL Record. Do you know how much he has in total?
— ABL (@aseanbasketball) October 10, 2018
- Indonesia big man, Christian Ronaldo Sitepu, made his ABL debut in this game as well for Satria Muda. The game was 17 days away from his 23rd birthday and he was the youngest local player to play. It proved to be a solid debut from the 6’7″ forward with 4 points and 6 rebounds despite the loss. Sitepu, also fondly known as “Dodo”, averaged 6.3 points and 5.5 rebounds in the first of his four seasons in the ABL which also saw him win one title in 2012 with the Indonesia Warriors.
- The top scorer for Satria Muda in this game was local star guard, Faisal Julius Achmad. At 27 years old at the time of the game, Achmad was at the prime of his prolific career in Indonesia basketball. The Indonesian guard had 16 points to lead his team with 3 three-pointers. It was Achmad’s lone season in the ABL which he averaged an impressive 7.1 points per game.
- This game featured two MVPs, both from the Philippine Patriots. Jason Dixon had a quiet debut game with only 11 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks and would finish the season with 13.9 points and 9.8 rebounds as the league’s World Import MVP. Warren Ybanez also achieved honors as the ABL’s first ever Finals MVP this season and recorded 4 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists in his very first game.
- Not only was this matchup between the Philippine Patriots and Satria Muda Britama the first ever ABL game, it would also be the matchup of the first ever ABL Finals as well. The Patriots swept Satria Muda in three games when the two teams met in the final show down.