MACAU – After their first season in the ASEAN Basketball League, Chong Son Kung Fu will be relocating and rebranding themselves as the Macau Black Bears.
Chong Son Kung Fu finished last season with the best record in the ABL (15-5) and a perfect home record before bowing out in the Semifinals against Mono Vampire Basketball Club. The team featured the league’s Coach of the Year, MVP (World Import), and MVP (Heritage Import) in Charles Dube-Brais, Anthony Tucker, and Mikh McKinney, respectively.
“We hope the relocation and the competitive nature of the ABL will create opportunities for Macau Basketball and inspire the youth,” General Manager Lukas Peng says. “As Macau’s first professional sports team, the Black Bears will fight for the respect and admiration of Macanese in its inaugural season. Furthermore, we’ve recruited the top talents that Macau has to offer, coupled with the work ethic of our staff, to strive for long term success. We know it won’t be easy and it will take time, but we will work towards building a successful franchise.”
Macau’s GDP is among the highest in the world as a result of a strong economy powered by tourism and entertainment. The casino entertainment industry is a huge draw for tourists that visit the country year round. Tourism, casino entertainment, and the hospitality industry contributes to more than 50% of Macau’s GDP, as well as 70% of the country’s government revenue.
Sports in Macau is still on the rise, but basketball is among one of the most popular alongside football. Macau regularly holds local non-professional basketball leagues of which the top performing players are selected to play for the Macau National Team.
“We are making the move to Macau because it’s a city that really needs a professional basketball team,” says Peng. “There hasn’t been a professional sports team in Macau, so the dream of becoming a professional basketball player has never been possible for the kids in this city. The Macau Black Bears provides an opportunity at that dream and instantly makes it a reality for some of the nation’s top players. They never had the opportunity to be part of a professional team in a professional league, and the Macau Black Bears playing in the ABL makes that possible.”
According to the Nike FIBA World Rankings, Macau are the 146th ranked team in the world and the 30th ranked team in Asia. The Macau Black Bears are looking to use the ABL as a platform to further develop and improve Macau basketball from their current situation. The management team had already been in the works with the Macau-China Basketball Association since last year and will continue to do so with their relocation.
Not only are the team looking to sign Macanese players, they are also aiming of having the first ever Macau-born Head Coach to lead the team.
“We already had the top local Macau players train with our Chong Son Kung Fu team last season so we’re really excited to finally be able to see them in action,” Peng adds “We will be playing locally in Macau and put on a good show for our local fans. We will do the best we can to put together a competitive team and we can promise everyone that our organization will work hard to make it happen.”
“Macau is a great city that deserves a professional basketball team to cheer for. In our inaugural season in Macau, we hope to gain the respect of the league and gain the respect of the people of Macau to really rally behind us and support our team.”
The Black Bear moniker has its origin from the Bobo the Black Bear which has been recognizable and relatable to Macau for more than over 30 years. The Macau Black Bears aim to also become a respectable professional sports team that well represents Macau as a nation and have therefore chosen the beloved animal as their mascot.