The holidays are over and that means that the ABL is back!
Five games were slated last week to welcome the New Year. A handful of teams made significant changes in their roster to hopefully change their luck for the rest of the season.
For some, those changes worked out nicely. Others will have to wait and see later on.
Here’s what went down in Week 7:
- Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Team (Record: 7-0)
Previous Week: 1
At 7-0, Hong Kong remains on top of the team standings. They didn’t have a game last week, but their unblemished record is enough to keep them at the forefront of our team rankings.
The defending champions will be back this week when they take on the visiting Saigon Heat on Tuesday, January 9.
- Chong Son Kung Fu Basketball Club (Record: 4-0)
Previous Week: 2
After nearly a month, Chong Son plunged back into action when they faced the CLS Knights Indonesia last Saturday.
The Knights started the game out on fire and looked like that had the undefeated China-based team in a corner. They were up by 9 points in the fourth quarter but Kung Fu went into another gear and rallied late in the ball game. The result was an 86-83 win by Chong Son.
Filipino-American Mikh McKinney made his debut for Chong Son and he did not disappoint. He ended up being named Player of the Game with an amazing stat line of 16 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 7 steals. Though had a bit of a rough start, his late game presence showed us why he’s such a highly touted player.
- Tanduay Alab Pilipinas (Record: 3-3)
Previous Week: 5
Patience is virtue.
Tanduay Alab Pilipinas have now won three straight games following a slow start of three straight losses to their season. They ended 2017 with a win and continued the momentum heading into the New Year, coming up with wins against the Westports Malaysia Dragons and Singapore Slingers.
New imports Renaldo Balkman and Justin Brownlee have been superb and they are one of the main reasons why Alab has tasted recent success.
It eventually took an overtime session to beat the Singapore Slingers on the road, but it was a win that should convince fans of Alab’s status as a contender.
- Mono Vampire Basketball Club (Record: 5-3)
Previous Week: 3
The Formosa Dreamers were simply no match against the visiting Mono Vampire Basketball Club last Sunday.
Mono debuted their new World Import in Samuel Deguara and the 7’4” center looked a man amongst boys with his size end length. That made things a lot easier for his team mates, especially Jason Brickman who finished with a season-high 16 assists.
In Mono’s 104-84 blowout win, Deguara led the way with 22 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Chitchai Ananti was also on fire in that game, shooting 7-for-10 from the field for 21 points.
- Saigon Heat (Record: 2-2)
Previous Week: 6
The Saigon Heat were wheeling and dealing over the holidays.
By their first assignment in 2018 against the Formosa Dreamers, they looked like a totally different team. They debuted two new players in Maxie Esho and Michael Williams against the Dreamers.
Esho had a solid first game, racking up 27 points, 14 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Williams, who is the team’s new Heritage Import as David Arnold was reclassified as a local, contributed 19 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 dimes.
With a starting five of Akeem Scott, David Arnold, Moses Morgan, and new guys Maxie Esho, and Michael Williams, things are looking up for the Heat. They will be taking that line up to the test against the undefeated defending Champions on Tuesday, January 9 to start the action this week.
- Saigon Heat (Record: 1-2)
Previous Week: 4
It was a tough loss to swallow for the Singapore Slingers after they suffered an 89-80 overtime loss at the hands of Tanduay Alab Pilipinas.
AJ Mandani’s triple with 12.2 seconds left sent the game into the extra period, but the defeat turned out to be inevitable for the Slingers as they only mustered two points in the five additional minutes.
The bright side for the Slingers is that their new reinforcement Chris Charles looked like his usual self. The former two-time World MVP had 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 blocks. The Slingers also enjoyed solid contribution from local players Ng Han Bin (15 points), Russel Low (10 points, 7 rebounds), and Delvin Goh (9 Points, 5 rebounds).
- CLS Knights Indonesia (Record: 1-5)
Previous Week: 8
The CLS Knights were six minutes away from handing the Chong Son Kung Fu Basketball Club their first defeat. Up by 9 points in the fourth, they squandered their lead that resulted into their fifth loss of the season.
Despite the loss, Mario Wuysang and Freddie Lish had memorable outings. Wuysang put up his best performance of the season so far with 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists. Lish meanwhile tallied 18 points, 4 boards, and 5 dimes.
- Westports Malaysia Dragons (Record: 1-3)
Previous Week: 7
The Westports Malaysia Dragons debuted two new imports in Joshua Munzon and AJ West in the loss against Tanduay Alab Pilipinas.
Munzon, who suited up for the Dragons a season ago, looked like he was raring to be back in the ABL. He was all over the floor and gave Alab Pilipinas all sorts of problems.
He finished with 21 points, including four triples. AJ West meanwhile had 16 points and 22 rebounds, West’s 15 offensive rebounds is the most by any ABL player in the history of the league.
Chun Hong Ting has also been a bright spot for the Dragons, after scoring 14 points in the loss. He now averages 11.3 points and 4.0 rebounds.
- Formosa Dreamers (Record: 1-6)
Previous Week: 9
The Formosa Dreamers stay at the bottom of our weekly rankings following back-to-back home losses against the Saigon Heat and Mono Vampire Basketball Club. They have now lost four straight for a 1-6 standing.
Reggie Okosa was a new addition to the Dreamers, but he’s had little effect on the team’s success so far.
The Dreamers hope to turn things around when they battle the Westports Malaysia Dragons on January 14.