The ABL has found itself a new giant killer this season in the form of the Saigon Heat.
The hot, hot, Heat picked up a pair of impressive victories in a tough stretch, as they won over the previously unbeaten squads Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Team and Chong Son Kung Fu back to back. That means that in one week, there is no longer an unbeaten squad in the ABL.
Other teams have also risen in the standings alongside the Heat, as strong performances from the Singapore Slingers give them a boost in our power rankings as well. Let’s check where your favorite team is before plunging into a new week of ABL action.
- Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Team (Record: 7-1)
Previous Week: 1
Hong Kong may no longer be unbeaten, but it took a historic shooting night from the Heat and an overtime period to defeat the champs.
Hong Kong Eastern’s free throw woes were the culprit, particularly Christian Standhardinger’s 5/17 shooting from the charity stripe.
There’s obviously no reason to panic, and a matchup with the Formosa Dreamers could be what they need to get back on track.
- Chong Son Kung Fu Basketball Club (Record: 4-1)
Previous Week: 2
Chong Son Kung Fu was the second team that the Heat shocked this past week, as they absorbed their first loss of the season as well. They continue to get solid offensive numbers, but their defense has been shaky as of late.
The road loss to the Saigon Heat hurts, but Chong Son Kung Fu knows that they were missing a key piece to their line up with star local Guo Kai being unavailable for the game.
Once they get their talented crop comfortable together, look for Chong Son to be a terror once again in the ABL.
- Saigon Heat (Record: 4-2)
Previous Week: 5
The entire league and it’s fans have been buzzing about the Saigon’s Heat defiant week. They simply refused to lose despite facing league leaders, overtime thrillers and comeback seekers.
The key to the team’s turnaround has been the duo of Mike Williams and Maxie Esho. Those two imports have been as good as advertised, and have turned around the Heat’s season. They’re now riding a three game winning streak and take on the Dragons on January 17.
Can the league’s hottest team make it four in a row?
- Singapore Slingers (Record: 5-5)
Previous Week: 6
The roller coaster season for the Slingers continues.
The Slingers dropped a game to Tanduay Alab Pilipinas earlier at home, then responded by getting one back on January 10. They then traveled to Surabaya and got their second straight victory at the hands of the CLS Knights Indonesia.
Chris Charles has been adding much needed rim protection and draw in defense to create space for others. The team is looking more and more comfortable with him on the floor as each game passes.
The Slingers are the league’s ultimate hot and cold squad, and are now searching for consistency that can vault them back in the playoff picture.
- Tanduay Alab Pilipinas (Record: 4-4)
Previous Week: 3
Tanduay Alab Pilipinas saw it’s three game losing streak snapped this week at the hands of the Slingers.
But the reason they’re at 5th place in the rankings is their 27 point victory on the road against Mono Vampire Basketball Club on Sunday. Justin Brownlee exploded for 24 points in the second half, as Alab led by as many as 33 points in the lopsided victory. Only time will tell if the Philippine-based squad is ready to start a new winning streak.
- Mono Vampire Basketball Club (Record: 6-4)
Previous Week: 4
Mono Vampire Basketball Club sees the biggest drop this season, as they go 1-1 this week. Anytime you experience a huge loss like they one against Tanduay Alab Pilipinas, it’s bound to happen.
However it’s also been a grueling schedule as of late, as they played 2 games in 3 days. It’s a good thing that new World Import Mike Singletary is around to buoy Mono Vampire’s scoring. The highly touted Singletary could be a gamechanger for the Thai squad once all the piece settle in.
- Westports Malaysia Dragons (Record: 2-4)
Previous Week: 7
The Dragons finally snapped a four game losing streak, as they hung on in the clutch to defeat the Formosa Dreamers.
Marcus Marshall was spectacular once again, as he topscored with 30 big points. However Josh Munzon might be just as valuable. He only recently turned 23 years old, but his relentless spirit on defense is such a gamechanger for the Dragons. His 5 steals helped his squad on that end.
Can he replicate the performance as the red hot Saigon Heat visit the Dragons’ Den?
- CLS Knights Indonesia (Record: 1-6)
Previous Week: 7
The Knights continue to get all kinds of opportunities to snap their losing streak, but they unfortunately fall short. They led the Slingers in the second half, and were in striking distance towards the end.
However they allowed Han Bin Ng to breakout with with 22 points, as they absorbed their sixth straight loss.
When will the losing stop for the Knights? Can they spoil Tanduay Alab Pilipinas’ visit to Surabaya on January 20?
- Formosa Dreamers (Record: 1-7)
Previous Week: 9
Lenny Daniel continues to do everything in his power to help his squad win, but it’s just not happening. The Dreamers have now tried their third import alongside Daniel in Ronnie Aguilar, but they still fell short against the Westports Malaysia Dragons.
Aguilar had an encouraging debut with 22 points and 22 rebounds, which could be a sign of optimism.
At this point the Dreamers will take any positivity they can muster up, especially as they get ready to take on the defending champions Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Team.