MANILA - The players who represented their respective teams at the ASEAN Basketball League 2018-2019 season launch and press conference all expressed their anticipation heading into the new season.
Among those players were Ray Parks Jr. (San Miguel Alab Pilipinas), Renaldo Balkman (San Miguel Alab Pilipinas), JR Alabanza (San Miguel Alab Pilipinas), Chris Sumalinog (San Miguel Alab Pilipinas), Josh Urbiztondo (San Miguel Alab Pilipinas), Lawrence Domingo (San Miguel Alab Pilipinas), Ethan Alvano (San Miguel Alab Pilipinas), PJ Ramos (San Miguel Alab Pilipinas), Caelan Tiongson (San Miguel Alab Pilipinas), Brandon Rosser (San Miguel Alab Pilipinas), Prince Rivero (San Miguel Alab Pilipinas), Darunpong Apiromvilaichai (Mono Vampire Basketball Club), Dinh Thanh Sang (Saigon Heat), Jenning Leung (Wolf Warriors), Brandon Jawato (CLS Knights), Adam Xu (Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Team), Benjamin Sim (Westports Malaysia Dragons), Delvin Goh (Singapore Slingers), Lai Katong (Macau Black Bears), and Lei Tien (Formosa Dreamers).
Here are some things that were said during the event:
“With the season approaching, I’m just really excited. My teammates have been really good so far. I’m excited to be in the Philippines and I think it’s gonna be a good change. Very very excited,” Caelan Tiongson of Alab Pilipinas said. He played for Chong Son Kung Fu (now Macau Black Bears last season).
“The ABL gave me an option when I saw other people in my [heritage] situation playing there, so I was like I wanna try and play in that league.” Wolf Warriors’ Jenning Leung said. “I work extremely hard. In terms of the actual game, I can shoot it, defend, and I’m pretty positive on the court. I try to keep the morale going.”
“I’ve always heard good things about the ABL and I’m very thankful for this opportunity to play with CLS Knights.” said Brandon Jawato of the CLS Knights. “I’m excited ‘cause I love to compete. 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 ABL is the best league in Southeast Asia. It’s an honor to be here and to come here and represent Vietnam on the international level. I feel like that’s great for me and the country as well,” said youngster Dinh Thanh Sang of the Saigon Heat.
“Local players will have more opportunities to take on a bigger role on both ends of the floor,” said Hong Kong Eastern’s Adam Xu in reference to the rules changes made this season to on.cc. “Whether it’s providing scoring within our offense, or being solid on defensive matchups, players are definitely expected to step up their game.”
“I feel excited because I get a chance to play professionally,” Macau Black Bears’ Lai Katong said. “We are the first [professional] team in Macau and I hope we can put up a good performance and show the fans that we are good enough to play professional basketball.”
“I’m proud to represent the Malaysia Dragons in the upcoming ABL,” said newcomer Benjamin Sim. “We hope to see you at MABA Stadium.”
“We made it to the Finals in the ABL last season and this year we aim to win it all,” told Mono Vampire Team Manager, Apichok Saekow to Manager Online. “It won’t be easy because every team is really focused and have done a good job at recruiting good imports. Therefore, we will look at it game by game.”
The 2018-2019 season tips off on November 16th between the Wolf Warriors and Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Team in Zhu Hai, China.
Check out the schedule for the entire 2018-2019 season here.