The ASEAN Basketball League had an eventful first week with two teams going undefeated, two teams getting spot results, and two teams still looking for their first win of the season.
There were also tremendous individual performances in the first four games of the season with a few of the old reliables showing they still own their respective yards but there were also head-turning performances from new faces that made their fans giddy with excitement for what is to come.
Every week, the Player of the Week will be selected along with three runners-up to appreciate the performance of ABL stars.
Chris Charles, the reigning Best Import of Hi-Tech Bangkok City, started the season in a strong way as he came up with 25 points, 16 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 4 blocks in an 83-74 win over the Singapore Slingers. It was a huge statement from the long-time ABL import that he isn’t ready to give up his crown just yet. Because of his familiarity with his teammates and their system, Charles found it easy to get his groove back after a long off season.
In the same game, Singapore import Xavier Alexander made waves as he tried to carry the Slingers to a victory. The debuting import dropped 30 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and a block, although his team came up of the short end.
In the first game played in the Philippines for the Pacquiao Powervit Aguilas, it was the import of Mono Vampire who stole the show. Behemoth Anthony McClain was unstoppable down low as he almost single-handedly carried his team to a win. They fell a point short at 79-78 but McClain showed that he is a force to be reckoned with as he tallied 28 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists, and 4 blocks. Mono Vampire might be new in the league but games against them won’t be easy with their big man in the middle.
However, the Player of the Week belongs to Filipino-American Jason Brickman who is playing as one of Westports Malaysia Dragons ASEAN Heritage import.
In the Dragons’ 107-82 beatdown of the Aguilas, Brickman narrowly missed a triple-double with 15 points, 9 rebounds, 14 assists, and 6 steals. The 23-year-old Brickman has been known as a smart point guard since college. He is one of only four players to notch 1,000 career assists in Division 1 of the NCAA with LIU Brooklyn. He was so good at distributing the ball that he led the league in assists in 2013 and 2014.
According to ESPN analyst Jay Bilas, Brickman “really understands candles very well. He does a really good job of managing the game. An excellent passer.”
These skills were on full display as he found open teammate after open teammate against the Pacquiao Powervit Pilipinas Aguilas. With a debut performance like that, more will be expected of Brickman and the rest of the ABL’s stat-sheet stuffers in the second week of action.