SURABAYA - Indonesian-American Brandon Jawato is the first among new signings that the CLS Knights have made for their second season playing in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL).
The 25-year-old will be playing in his second season of professional basketball after a one season stop in the Indonesia Basketball League (IBL) with Pelita Jaya in 2015-2016. During his lone season in the IBL, Jawato was a frontrunner for the Rookie of the Year award with averages of 10.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. His strong performance was able to help propel Pelita Jaya to a Finals appearance where Jawato and his team were beaten by his current team, CLS Knights. The shooting guard put up a line of 16.3 PPG and 7.7 RPG in the Finals series, but it was just not enough.
Brandon Jawato will now be a member of the Knights instead, however playing in the ASEAN Basketball League this time around for the purple and gold squad based in Surabaya.
“I’ve always heard good things about the ABL and I’m very thankful for this opportunity to play with CLS Knights,” Jawato said at the ABL 2018-2019 Season Launch event. “I’m excited ‘cause I love to compete.”
Prior to playing professional basketball, Jawato played at the collegiate level at the University of Hawaii in NCAA Division 1. Injuries slowed him down during his later seasons in college after a strong start of averaging 16.5 minutes and 5.9 points in his freshmen year. As a member of the Rainbow Warriors, played a total of 40 games and 2 seasons alongside Christian Standhardinger who starred for Hong Kong Eastern in the ABL last season.
Jawato was mentioned as a three-point specialist in college and names Allen Iverson as his favorite player. The CLS Knights will be need that long range sniping after finishing dead last in three-point shooting percentage (28.7%) among all teams last season. It would also certainly help if the 6’3″ guard brings some scoring swagger a la Iverson to the team who has lost Mario Wuysang, Biboy Enguio, and Kaleb Ramot Gemilang over the offseason.
The CLS Knights certainly have more in plan for their roster adjustments heading into the next season, but the addition of Jawato to the team is a nice place to start.
“So far, I’ve been with the team for about a week and I feel very comfortable going into the season,” Jawato added about at the Season Launch. “It’s actually been really easy. I understand Bahasa. I speak Bahasa as well. It’s great.”
Last season, the Knights debuted with a 5-15 record which was good for 7th place in the standings but not enough to crack into the playoffs.
“I know last year, CLS Knights kinda had a rough season. Hopefully, I can get the guys together and we’ll make a pretty good run this year and make some noise in the ABL.”
The first game of the season for Jawato and the Knights will come on November 18 when they travel to face the Saigon Heat in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. They will then play in their home opener against Hong Kong Eastern on November 24.
Check out the CLS Knight’s full season schedule here!