Starting the list, the San Miguel Alab Pilipinas’ newest prospect is about to enter the league and with a decent resume backing him up, Jeremiah Gray enters the list at number 30. Being one of the team’s most highly touted acquisitions this year, the hype is there and it’s easy to understand why. A scoring machine that forces defenses to think on their feet, Gray is an exciting player for Alab’s chase to reclaim the title. Head coach Jimmy Alapag has been all praises for the new guard and is looking forward with working him into the team’s system while also allowing him a chance to shine on some plays that will be designed to utilize his strengths.
Gray was also a member of the Philippine delegation that was sent to Dubai to play in an international tournament where he played with former Alab alums Justin Brownlee and Renaldo Balkman. He was highly thankful for the two vets for helping him prepare for the transition to life in the ABL.
Jeremiah Gray may be an unknown commodity in the league so far, but he’s earned our respect to garnering a spot here in the ABL Top 30.
Tseng Wen-Ting of the Taipei Fubon Braves secures the 29th spot. The 6’8″ big man is one of Taiwan’s staple names in basketball after his storied Super Basketball League stint. From 2003 to 2006, he was a key figure for the Yulon Dinos to capture the inaugural SBL championship and later on an eventual three-peat championship streak. Tseng then took his talents to the Chinese Basketball Association for the Shanghai Sharks and recently for the Sichuan Blue Whales.
Along with his professional duties, Tseng proudly represented his heritage in international competitions as a mainstay for the Chinese-Taipei national team. One of his memorable runs with the national team was in the 2011 FIBA Asia Cup—averaging 10.6 points and 5.3 rebounds as their reliable big man.
His solid presence on the post and stingy defense make up most of his playing style. Although he may not have produced the biggest numbers, his fundamentals and rich basketball experience are cut above the rest and worth mentioning in the Top 30. Expect the veteran Tseng to step up as one of the Braves’ on-court leaders this season.
One of the newest players for the Formosa Dreamers is about to make his ABL debut as one of the Top 30 players to grace the hardwood this season. Jet Chang was once a prospect from BYU-Hawaii—scoring 17.8 points during his senior year. He also managed to bag collegiate basketball honors in 2012 such as the Pacific West All-First Team and Player of the Year. After having a breakout season for the Seasiders, Chang pursued his hopes of becoming a professional player overseas. He had notable stints in China’s CBA and the Philippines’ PBA.
He was noteworthy in his 2013–2014 CBA season with the Sichuan Blue Whales as he averaged 12.4 points along with a decent 43% shooting on the field; he then was tapped as the Asian import for the PBA’s Kia Sorento and scored 12.7 PPG. The local swingman then played in his hometown of Taiwan as a Fubon Brave and a role player for the Chinese-Taipei national team.
This season, Chang was acquired by the Formosa Dreamers—further stacking their array of local forwards. His addition will be valuable due to his scoring abilities, whether driving the lanes or spotting up for long-range shots. Despite his scoring upsides, there are still looming concerns that may hamper his game this season. Will he be a better free-throw shooter now than his 56% outing with the Braves a season ago? Could he continuously tally proficient numbers and provide the X-factor for the Dreamers? These are yet to be answered, but in our minds, Jet Chang’s overall game is up-to-par with ABL’s top talents.
When it comes to basketball versatility—from scoring efficiency to defensive capabilities, there is a name that stands out in the ABL who exhibits tenacity on both ends of the court. He is no other than Formosa Dreamers’ Kenny Chien.
Chien emerged as a local player for the Formosa Dreamers back at the latter end of the 2017–2018 ABL season, only to have played 8 games in the process. The Dreamers finished the season being the last seeded team with only a single win under their belt, but all of those turned into the best record come the following season thanks in part of Chien’s productivity. He started all 28 games for the Dreamers and put up 9.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.2 steals.
This season, expect Chien to continue his productivity on the court and the rise of his averages. The 24-year-old still has the potential to further improve his scoring ability and defensive fundamentals. It is up to the team on how they will continue to integrate him into their system for him to develop as an effective player.
Throughout the years, Slingers’ local Delvin Goh has continued to develop as one of the most skilled athletes in the ABL through his tenacity and efficiency in the shaded area. In 2011, Goh entered the professional scene as a 16-year-old teenager and was dubbed “Wonder Kid.” The Slingers then honed his potential and later on progressed as a vital player for the team. It was until the two previous seasons where Goh stood out the most as one of their reliable locals.
In the 2018–2019 ABL season, Goh played and started all of Slingers’ 36 games; and averaged 8.3 points, 6.5 rebounds while shooting at 48% from the field. He continues to be a strong presence in the paint as he knows where to position inside and uses his size and strength in grabbing rebounds or muscling his way for a bucket. Plus, his efficiency sets a solid foundation for his game. At 24 years old, he still has a high ceiling to fully maximize his talents, but needs to work on polishing his midrange jumpers, free-throw percentage, and must be aggressive enough to assert added dominance in the paint.
With all the strengths and weaknesses laid out, Delvin Goh certainly has what it takes to increase his numbers and be a standout local in the ABL.