The first week of 2018 would be one to remember for the ABL as it featured five games with four visiting teams getting victories. It had an overtime game and one that was decided in the final seconds and the week also featured a bunch of outstanding individual performances but only three could be named as the ABL Players of the Week.
World Import Player of the Week
Justin Brownlee, Tanduay Alab Pilipinas
The was a lot of buzz coming from Philippine basketball fans when they first learned that Justin Brownlee would be joining Tanduay Alab Pilipinas as he has proven his brilliance by winning two titles in the PBA. He did not disappoint in his first two games with the Philippine squad as he led them to two victories, one at home and one on the road.
Brownlee started his ABL career by getting 29 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks against the Westports Malaysia Dragons and what made this performance more amazing is that he only arrived in the country earlier that day.
With a few practices with his new team Brownlee helped them beat the Slingers in Singapore and although he did not shoot that well from the field, his play-making helped Tanduay Alab Pilipinas get climb to .500 with their third straight win. Brownlee notched 17 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks in his second ABL game.
Renaldo Balkman, Tanduay Alab Pilipinas – 21.5 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 4 spg, 2 bpg, 50 FG%
Anthony Tucker, Chong Son Kung Fu Basketball Club – 22 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists, 8 of 26 FGs
Maxie Esho,Saigon Heat – 27 points, 14 rebounds, 2 blocks, 10 of 17 FGs
Heritage Import Player of the Week
Moses Morgan, Saigon Heat
The first week of ABL action in 2018 also saw a lot of Heritage imports making their debut but an old reliable got the nod as the Player of the Week as he helped the Saigon Heat get an important win on the road.
Moses Morgan was on fire against the Formosa Dreamers as he scattered 27 points on 12 of 21 shooting from the field. His output did not end there as he also secured 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks.
With David Arnold now reclassified as a local, the Heat will get more help with the arrival of Williams but Morgan showed at least against the Dreamers that he will remain to be another vital cog of the system in Saigon.
Mikh McKinney, Chong Son Kung Fu Basketball Club – 16 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 7 steals, 7 of 19 FGs
Michael Williams, Saigon Heat – 19 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks, 7 of 17 FGs
Local Player of the Week
Chitchai Ananti, Mono Vampire Basketball Club
With the usually reliable Patrick Sanders struggling with his scoring against the Formosa Dreamers, Mono Vampire got a big lift off the bench courtesy of Chitchai Ananti.
The lanky scorer was a plus-14 in the 17 minutes he played in the game as the Thailand-based squad had all their 12 guys in uniform getting at least 5 minutes against the luckless Dreamers.
This is the second straight week that the Mono Vampire Basketball Club has had a player named Local Player of the Week with Teerawat Chantachon receiving the honors last time.
Ananti finished with 21 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists on 7 of 10 shooting from the field.
Guo Kai, Chong Son Kung Fu Basketball Club – 16 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 7 of 14 FGs