We’re down to the final two weeks in the ABL regular season, and five of the spots in the Playoffs have been taken. Only the sixth seed is being disputed by the Saigon Heat and Westports Malaysia Dragons. The top four squads are jockeying for position in the standings, as Chong Son Kung Fu, Hong Kong Eastern, Mono Vampire Basketball Club and San Miguel Alab Pilipinas are still looking to climb as high as possible.
Things should be even more intense entering this week of basketball action. Let’s get to the movers and shakers in the ABL!
- Chong Son Kung Fu (Record: 12-5)
Previous Week: 5
It’s funny how much a difference a week can make.
Last week, Chong Son Kung Fu slipped to a season-worst fifth in our Power Rankings, falling to a three game losing skid, and facing the challenge of the top three teams in the ABL coming to visit them at home.
What do they do? They swept them all. The Nanhai Gym remains unscathed, as Chong Son Kung Fu got three straight impressive victories, vaulting them back to number two over all.
A win against Hong Kong Eastern on Tuesday will give them a perfect home record, one of the rarest feats in ABL history.
- Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Team (Record: 12-3)
Previous Week: 3
Hong Kong Eastern was unable to get their second win of the season against Chong Son Kung Fu, as they lost Marcus Elliott to foul trouble, before eventually falling short in the end. Chong Son Kung Fu is now only the second team that can boast of having defeated the defending champs, as the Saigon Heat are the only other squad that have taken wins against Hong Kong.
- Mono Vampire Basketball Club (Record: 12-6)
Previous Week: 1
Mono Vampire Basketball Club saw their winning streak snapped at the hands of Chong Son Kung Fu’s home stand last week.
But whatever the case may be, Mono Vampire is looking dangerous heading into the Playoffs. The duo of Mike Singletary and Sam Deguara have been exactly what the team has needed. With Singletary such a gifted scorer, Deguara can focus on protecting the paint and and getting points whenever available.
This team is definitely in position to surprise a lot of ABL fans.
- San Miguel Alab Pilipinas (Record: 11-5)
Previous Week: 3
From eight straight wins to two straight losses for San Miguel Alab Pilipinas.
Their offense looked stuck in mud against Chong Son Kung Fu, as they lost their only game of the week on the road to the China-based squad. It seems like the long break after their winning streak did more harm than damage, as they lost a lot of the rhythm that made them look like championship contenders.
There’s still time to right the ship though, as a date with the Saigon Heat in the Philippines is on the slate this week. Can San Miguel Alab Pilipinas bounce back?
- Singapore Slingers (Record: 10-8)
Previous Week: 4
The Slingers’ loss to the CLS Knights Indonesia has to rank as one of the biggest disappointments of their campaign.
They entered the game with a three game winning streak and were unable to extend due to their inability to score against the Knights.
The final sequence, when the Slingers were unable to foul the Knights despite being down was a bizarre one as well.
- Saigon Heat (Record: 9-8)
Previous Week: 7
The Saigon Heat took care of business and are now merely a win away from claiming the final Playoff spot in the ABL. The win over the Westports Malaysia Dragons was huge, as they created separation against their last opponent chasing the sixth seed. They will have two opportunities to secure the spot, as they take on San Miguel Alab Pilipinas on Wednesday, and the Dragons again on Sunday.
- CLS Knights Indonesia (Record: 4-13)
Previous Week: 8
If there’s one thing the Knights have shown, it’s that they play harder and tougher than their record may indicate.
Despite being out of the running, the Knights still fought on both ends and earned an impressive 65-64 win over the Slingers. Their campaign may have been derailed by injuries, but they’ve made no excuses and continue to soldier on. They will have their final home game of the season this week in Surabaya versus the Dragons, as they look to grab a win in front of one of the loudest groups of fans in the entire ABL.
- Westports Malaysia Dragons (Record: 5-11)
Previous Week: 6
It’s beginning to look grim for the Westports Malaysia Dragons’ playoff hopes.
The win last week against San Miguel Alab Pilipinas was crucial, but arguably the loss to the Saigon Heat this past week stings even more. Now their playoff lives aren’t even in their hands. One more win by the Heat, or one more loss by the Dragons will bid the end to their campaign to move to the next round.
- Formosa Dreamers (Record: 1-16)
Previous Week: 9
The Dreamers had the week off, but will be busy hosting two playoff squads this week in Chong Son Kung Fu. Three more losses added to their 14-game losing streak means the squad ties the record for most successive losses in ABL history.