The Kuala Lumpur struggled mightily last season but the signing of Will Artino is a step in the right direction for the management to get back to their winning ways. Looking to serve as the focal point of the Dragons offense, the American big man might be off to average a double-double season in points and rebounding.
A member of the Formosa Dreamers last year, Artino was one of the keys to the team’s success as they brought the team out of the basement to the top of the standings. Coach Dean Murray made the most out of his three imports and Artino poured in 20.7 points and grabbed 10.7 rebounds per game which were impressive for his first stint in the league.
It’s understandable why a player of his caliber would join the Dragons as he has the potential to be a game-changing talent in the ASEAN Basketball League. A big man with a point guard’s on-court vision, the team just may have found the missing piece to their playoff puzzle.
Signed by the Kuala Lumpur Dragons in order to bolster their backcourt, Amir Bell serves as Will Artino’s second in command in terms of production. Although he spent four years in college, his stats don’t immediately jump out at anyone but he has that high motor that most coaches are looking for. What he lacks in overall production, he makes up for by putting in his full effort on every single play.
Standing at 6-foot-4, the enigmatic and charismatic guard will look to make waves in the league. As for why he’s at the 14th spot, import guards tend to shine in the ASEAN Basketball League. The way we see it, Bell is poised to break out this year and make a name for himself. In 29 appearances overseas, he averaged 10.3 points on 41.7% shooting, numbers that will most likely improve in his time in the ABL.
Bell might be an unproven prospect that most teams would overlook but if we learned anything in the past years, no player should ever be overlooked.
Never sleep on Charles Garcia as he is about to rock the ABL for the Taipei Fubon Braves. A player of his caliber brings an extensive basketball experience from around the globe—from the NBA D-League to Taiwan’s Super Basketball League.
A season ago in the SBL, Garcia played remarkably for the Braves; he was 5th among leading scorers in the league with 19.2 PPG, along with 11.8 rebounds and shooting at an efficient 53% from the field. He played as the Braves’ leading big man and was vital for their championship run a season ago. His postseason contributions were also worthy enough for the Finals MVP honor.
Given his bulky 6’10” frame, he still possesses commendable mobility to go along with his strength—making him a force to be reckoned with this season. The question is if he could continue his efficiency and intensity against a lot of tougher talent in the ABL. At the 13th spot, Garcia is a solid player yet to assess his prowess against ABL’s elite.
Although he only played two games with Mono Vampire back in the 2018-2019 season, Keene has shown flashes of his great scoring potential as he was able to pour in 32.5 points while shooting at 51% from the field. After he was cut by Mono, he went overseas once again where he continued to play a stellar brand of basketball. He’s making his ABL comeback with the rebuilding Formosa Dreamers.
The former NCAA scoring leader is looking to breathe new life into his ABL career. In an interview with ASEAN Sports, Keene believes he has nothing to prove. “I didn’t get cut because of my talent, it just wasn’t the right fit for the team,” he said. That seems to be the case as he’s only 24 years old with a ton of basketball games ahead of his young career.
The Formosa Dreamers have bolstered their import lineup with his addition and there has to be a certain sense of determination in the young gun as he looks to make waves in the league. Don’t be surprised if Marcus Keene snatches the scoring title this upcoming season.
One of the premier big men in the league, the 6-foot-9 American has committed to joining Thailand’s Mono Vampire. This serves as a big power shift in the league as he was one of the cornerstones of the Macau Black Bears.
An immovable force in the paint, Watkins averaged 21.8 points and 14.8 rebounds while shooting at 51% from the field per game for the Black Bears. Teams in the league have made it a point to add Watkins when game-planning for the Black Bears as they are aware of how good he was at changing the flow of the game from the paint. Anthony Tucker and Mikh McKinney were his two biggest benefactors on the team as he would set hard screens which free them up to make a move to the rim for an easy basket.
Now a member of the Mono Vampire, Watkins is expected to fill the same role for the team. While being a strong force on the post, the American big man can also stroke it from deep as he ended last season with 35% from beyond the arc. Partnering up with Preston Knowles and Mike Singletary, can Ryan Watkins continue to put up impressive numbers for Mono Vampire?