It’s a new season in the ASEAN Basketball League, and two squads make their highly awaited debuts, as the Mono Vampire Basketball Club hosts the newly christened Macau Black Bears in Stadium 29, Bangkok City Thailand. Gametime is set for 3.00 PM local time.
These two teams are no strangers to each other. In last season’s Semifinals, the Black Bears, previously known as Chong Son Kung Fu were locked in a series against Mono Vampire. Though Chong Son was favored due to their finish as the top seed in the league, Mono Vampire relied local depth plus terrific performances from World Imports Mike Singletary and Sam Deguara, which included a buzzer beater that sealed the victory and brought Mono Vampire to the Finals.
Mono Vampire made their return to the ABL in style after skipping two years ago. Though they had a slow start, the team really gained steam with the addition of Sam Deguara and Mike Singletary to the roster. Armed with the brilliant Jason Brickman and a host of reliable locals in Darongpan Apiromvilaichai, Chitchai Ananti and Teerawat Chanthachon, Mono peaked at the right time and made its first ever finals appearance.
Several key players will be returning for Mono Vampire, ensuring the team will be competitive all season long. However the team will be missing the presence of the giant Sam Deguara, as he’s now a member of Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Team. That puts more pressure on Chanthachon to protect the paint. However Mono Vampire is stacked at the backcourt, with the brilliant Jason Brickman leading the charger. Moses Morgan will also make his debut with Mono Vampire, after spending the last 3 seasons with the Saigon Heat.
Though the then Chong Son Kung Fu were a big question due to their status as a new squad last season, they immediately showed that they meant business with a masterful run in the elimination round. The stellar squad only suffered 5 losses total, finishing with the top seed. Along the way, the team also picked up two MVPs and one Coach of the Year award. Though they flamed out in the Semis, the Black Bears have shown just how dangerous they can be.
Key players will be returning for the Black Bears, including the reigning World and Heritage MVPs Anthony Tucker and Mikh McKinney. The two were a deadly combination, creating chaos in the backcourt with their ability to get hot from beyond the arc and push the tempo in transition. The team did suffer a big blow, as veteran Justin Howard and up and comer Caelan Tiongson are no longer part of the squad. The team will also get a new look at some local Macau players, like the 6’4 Lai Ka Tong.
However it’s a new start for the Black Bears and Mono Vampire Basketball Club. Will the returning duo of Anthony Tucker and Mikh McKinney be able to grab the first win of the season, or will the revamped Mono Vampire begin another road to the Finals in season 9 of the ABL?