The Westports Malaysia Dragons are one of the founding teams of the ASEAN Basketball League since it’s establishment in 2009. Known for their fiery uptempo offense, the Dragons have been among one of the strongest franchises in the ABL with one Championship in 2015-2016, two Finals appearances, and 6 post-season trips in total. The Dragons alumni is a long and remarkable list from a Heritage Import MVP like Matthew Wright to multiple Malaysia National Team players such as Loh Shee Fai, Kuek Tian Yuan, and Ivan Yeo. They will be featuring a new head coach, Jamie Pearlam, this season and will look to break their two-year post-season draught.
The Singapore Slingers have been a part of the ASEAN Basketball League since it’s inception in 2009, gradually growing together side by side. Having carefully taken their time and enduring growing pains, the Slingers have groomed many talented National Team players such as two time Local MVP Wong Wei Long as well as rising stars Leon Kwek and Delvin Goh. The Slingers are riding on a wave of success, making it to two straight ABL Finals and four straight playoff appearances led by 2015-2016 Coach of the Year Neo Beng Siang. By using their trademark lockdown defense, the Slingers are aiming to make the upcoming ABL season a historic one for their fans.
Since joining as an expansion team in 2012, the Saigon Heat have developed into a proud and competitive franchise in the ASEAN Basketball League. The team has one of the league’s most enthusiastic fans rallying behind them and it’s pushed them to three straight playoff appearances in the past three seasons. CIS Arena in Ho Chi Minh City turns into to one of loudest places in town on game nights as the fans cheer on their favorite players. After recording the best record in franchise history last season, Coach Kyle Julius hopes to lead the team to this first Playoff win in 2018-2019.
Hailing from one of the most basketball-crazed nations in the world, Alab Pilipinas didn’t disappoint last season in the ABL and won their first ever ABL title. Not only did they bring an aggressive upbeat tempo to the hardwood, they also brought along a massive group of passionate fans. Bobby Ray Parks Jr. won his second consecutive Local MVP title and the Finals MVP award as the star of the team. Coach Jimmy Alapag won’t allow any room for complacency this year as they aim to be the first team ever to win back-to-back titles in the ABL.
The Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Team are one of the most successful franchises in ABL history with one title and one Semi-Finals appearance in their first two seasons. Their efficient style of play, tailored by Coach Edu Torres, has entertained the fans at Southorn Stadium and will continue to do so this year. Marcus Elliott has made a name for himself in Hong Kong with electrifying dunks, while local hero Lee Ki continues to sizzle from downtown. There are some major changes in the team this coming year, but fans can be sure that they will play their hearts out every time.
Indonesia is one of the most respected basketball nations in the South East Asia region and were represented by the CLS Knights Indonesia in their debut season last year. The storied club has been around for just over 70 years and is one of the most competitive teams in the league, recently winning the IBL title in 2015-2016. The team is based in Surabaya, the “City of Heroes”, and the Knights are a symbol of true dedication of the spirit of the city. The Knights featured one of the most devoted fans in the ABL last year who should return as they root for National Team heroes like Sandy Kurniawan and Firman Dwi Nugroho. Other players who feature Indonesian roots like two-time Local MVP Wong Wei Long and Bradon Jawato are also expecting to bring big contributions for the Knights’ second run.
The Mono Vampire Basketball Club returned with a bang to the ASEAN Basketball League representing Thailand and made it all the way to the ABL Finals in just their second season. The rising basketball powerhouse of Thailand have a collection of the best players in the country like Chitchai Ananti, Darongphan Apiromwilaichai, and Teerawat Chantachon as well as one of the finest basketball facilities in their homecourt, Stadium29. Despite being established in as recent as 2014, the club has built up quite a resume winning multiple titles in the Thailand Basketball League and impressive outings in other international competitions as well.
Founded by Cheng-Chung Chang, Chris Hsu, Jimmy Chang, Blackie Chen and Jonathan, the Formosa Dreamers are looking to form a club that can help Taiwanese basketball enthusiasts achieve their dreams. Through basketball, the Dreamers aim to promote Taiwan to the basketball world breaking through the barriers of language. The club is based in Changhua, Taiwan which is where they hope can become their “Field of Dreams” in the ABL. The Dreamers are looking to come back even stronger in their follow up season this year.
The Macau Black Bears are rebranded and relocated from the China-based Chong Son Kung Fu expansion team in the ABL last year. They will now be based in Macau and will become the nation’s first ever professional basketball club. Having recruited local talents like Lai Katong, the Black Bears hope to be an inspiration for the next generation of basketball players in Macau to raise the level of play in the country. They will also be returning last season’s World Import MVP Anthony Tucker and Heritage Import MVP Mikh McKinney to make another deep run into the playoffs.
The Wolf Warriors are the newest expansion team in the ABL for this upcoming 2018-2019 season. Being based in Zhuhai, China means the Wolf Warriors are in prime position to form an interesting crosstown rivalry with both Hong Kong and Macau who are all in close proximity. The addition of this expansion team also means that the ABL will still remain in China, after the relocation of the Macau Black Bears.