The Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia has gone underway and will be playing in tight packed action up until the 1st of September. With the top nations of Asia in the playing field and national pride on the line, you can be sure that there will be plenty of intense action throughout the entire two weeks.
In the center of all this action are multiple players from all around the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) both from the current and past seasons. The ABL has always focused on being a platform for National Teams to use as development and the growing number of players with ABL experience confirms the league is serving it’s purpose in that aspect well.
Thailand’s roster is loaded with players with ABL games on their belt, varying from several seasons. Even without the usual stars like Tyler Lamb, Darongphan Apiromvilaichai, or Teerawat Chantachon, the ABL is well-represented in the Thailand roster.
Apiromvilaichai and Chantachon of the recent season’s finalist Mono Vampire are nursing injuries and were excluded from this roster. However, the Mono Vampire will have Chitchai Ananti, Sorot Sunthonsiri, Suppawich Khukhandhin, Sirapong Boonyhai, and Arnut Phuangla donning the Thailand National Team jersey in this tournament. Ananti has emerged as a legit scorer for Thailand and his 8.2 PPG average in the ABL suggests that he has the potential to do the same. Sunthonsiri has also been with the Mono Vampire in both of their participating season, putting up a promising 3.1 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 1.8 assists.
Other Thailand National Team plays like Nakorn Jaisanuk, Bandit Lakhan, Attapong Leelapipatkul, and Patipan Klahan have all seen action with Hitech Bangkok City from the 2014-2016 seasons.
Another ex-Hitech player that will be playing in the Asian Games is Chanathip Jakrawan, who will be playing on Thailand’s 3×3 Basketball team.
Surprisingly, the Hong Kong national team did not call up Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Team star Lee Ki to the team. Instead, they are taking a younger approach to the team leading to the call up of promising big man Wu Cheuk Pan. The 24-year-old has played in two ABL seasons with Eastern for a total of 31 games. The club will surely hope that this international experience further helps his development.
Other Eastern players from this past season on the national team include Lau Tsz Lai and Adam Xu, both of whom are regulars on the squad. Tsz Lai is a three-point specialist that boasts a remarkable 41.4% three-point shooting in 2 seasons with Eastern. Xu was a new addition to the team last season and gradually moved his way up the roster to average 2.5 points in 12.6 minutes of action per game.
Veteran Cheng Kam Hing is also on this national team in the Asian Games. He spent most of the 2016-2017 ABL season recovering from an injury, but made 2 appearances that season.
The host nation of the Asian Games 2018 have fielded a very competitive roster also featuring some of the best players from the ABL. The CLS Knights Indonesia have three players on the roster including the veteran Sandy Kurniawan along with Kaleb Ramot Gemiland and Firman Dwi Nugroho.
Kurniawan was one of the most deadliest sharpshooters from last season, shooting 35.1% from downtown and averaging 5.0 points for the CLS Knights. Gemiland and Nugroho are both promising prospects to keep eyes on as well.
Other former ABL players include the well-known Arki Wisnu who played in two seasons with the Indonesia Warriors with averages of 7.4 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.6 assists throughout his ABL stint. Promising stretch forward Kevin Yonas Sitorus also played for the Indonesia Warriors in 2014 and put up 3.9 points in his lone ABL season.
Adhi Pratama also played in the 2014 season, but for Laskar Dreya South Sumatra and only in just 2 games.
Update: Nugroho has been listed as injured and will be placed in the lineup. The ABL wishes him a speedy recovery.
The Philippines might only have a couple of ABL players on this National Team roster, but it’s a star-studded group to say the least.
Leading the way is 2013 MVP (Local Player) and Champion, Asi Taulava, of the San Miguel Beermen. The “Ageless One” had a spectacular season in his only ABL season with 11.4 points and 7.1 rebounds per game as a member of the eventual 2013 season champions.
Another ABL champion on the Philippines national team is Stanley Pringle who played for the Indonesia Warriors as a Heritage Import in two seasons from 2012 to 2013. Pringle helped lead the team to two finals appearance and one title, averaging 17.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.6 assists over his ABL career.
Finally, the player with the most recent ABL experience on the Philippines National Team roster is Hong Kong Eastern’s star forward, Christian Standhardinger. The Filipino-German was a brute force from day one and averaged 22.5 points and 11.8 rebounds for Eastern, including a spectacular 40-point game early in the season.
Malaysia did not send a 5×5 basketball team to participate in the Asian Games 2018, but the Westports Malaysia Dragons will still be represented in the 3×3 Basketball team.
Breakout star Ting Chun Hong features for the team alongside other Dragonforce Wong Yi Hou and Heng Yee Tong. Ting stepped up in his second ABL season with averages of 8.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 35.9% shooting from downtown.
Yi Hou only recently turned 22-years-old but he is already a 4-year veteran with one ABL championship. The lanky wing has averages of 4.3 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 34.5% three-point shooting over his 67 games played in the league.