After nearly two weeks of competition, the basketball competitions at the 18th Asian Games 2018 have concluded. The top basketball nations in Asia battled for glory with China emerging as champions over Iran in the finals. Among all of the players who were in Jakarta, Indonesia playing for their nation, some ASEAN Basketball League stars from last season shined brightly.
Of the teams with players that had ABL experience, the Philippines finished the highest in the Men’s Basketball 5×5 competition at 5th place. Though Cleveland Cavalier Jordan Clarkson took most of the spotlight, ABL players like Christian Standhardinger (Eastern Basketball Team) and Stanley Pringle (Indonesia Warriors) were just as important to the teams success.
Standhardinger was a wrecking ball throughout the entire tournament and opposing defences were usually left stumped at figuring how to stop him. Eastern’s Import from 2017-2018 averaged a monster double-double of 23.3 points and 11.3 rebounds. Once he started rumbling towards the paint, he usually found a way to put the ball in the basket, shooting 63.4% from two-point range.
Pringle was primed to prove that he was one of the best point guards in Asia coming into the tournament and finished it by at least legitimately getting himself in to the conversation. He smoothly averaged 11.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.3 steals and shot a blistering 55.6% from downtown.
Former ABL Local MVP Asi Taulava not only provided veteran leader for the Philippines but also produced whenever he was called upon to get on the court. He had 5.7 points and 3.0 rebounds in 12.5 minute per game.
Host Nation Indonesia were able to make it out of the Group Phase with a crucial win over Thailand and finished in 8th place. This would be their highest Asian Games finish ever since 1962 when they finished in 6th place.
Former Indonesia Warrior Arki Wisnu starred for Indonesia and was their offensive quarterback for most of the tournament. He averaged a line of 12.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.3 steals in 26.1 minutes per game.
CLS Knights members from last season, Kaleb Ramot Gemilang and Sandy Kurniawan, also saw action for the National Team. Gemilang had 2.3 points and 2.0 rebounds in 15.9 minutes per game, while Kurniawan logged 7.4 minutes per game for Indonesia.
Other former ABL players on the Indonesia National Team included Kevin Yonas Sitorus (Indonesia Warriors) and Adhi Pratama (Laskar Dreya). Sitorus put up 2.7 points in 10.7 minutes per game, while Pratama pounded it down low for 1.7 points and 3.0 rebounds in 18.7 minutes per game.
Thailand were unable to make it out of their group in the first round, losing to Korea and Indonesia, but were able to record a win over Mongolia.
Mono Vampire star Chitchai Ananti enjoyed his role as the leader of the National Team and ended up with 14.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 2.0 steals in 26.0 minutes of action per game. He was also lighting it up from downtown at a staggering 47.4% rate.
Other Mono Vampire players included the likes of Sorot Sunthonsiri, Suppawich Khukhandhin, Arnut Phuangla, and Sirapong Boonyai. Sunthonsiri was a lead guard option for Coach Douglas Marty (who is also coaching the Thailand National Team) and averaged 3.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 19.4 minutes per game. Phuangla should expected more minutes in the upcoming season and was showing his potential with 14.7 minutes of 6.0 points and 3.0 rebounds per game in production.
Ex-ABL players with Hitech Bangkok City like Nakorn Jaisanuk and Bandit Lakhan were also key pieces for Thailand. Jaisanuk averaged 16.0 points per game while Lakhan was good for 3.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 4.0 assists.
Hong Kong were also unable to make it out of the Group Phase, losing to Chinese-Taipei, Japan, and Qatar. The squad had been trying to test out some newer players and rested stars like Duncan Reid and Lee Ki for this competition. Three players from last season’s Eastern Basketball Team got their chances to shine.
Adam Xu has been a long time contributor for the Hong Kong National Team and proved his worth with an all-around performance in expanded minutes. The forward logged 22.5 minutes to put up 8.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game.
Lau Tsz Lai is a known long range marksman and displayed that he’s still very good at what he does. Eastern’s sharpshooter shot 47.1% from downtown in three games, averaging 9.7 points per game.
Wu Cheuk Pan finally got his first call up to the national team and corralled 3.0 rebounds in 13.4 minute per game.
Veteran Cheng Kam Hing who played for Eastern in their 2016-2017 championship season, logged 2.7 points, 1.0 rebound, and 1.0 assist in 12.4 minutes of play.
Malaysia did not send a Men’s Basketball 5×5 team, but they did sent a Men’s Basketball 3×3 team and were represented with three members of the Westports Malaysia Dragons from last season: Ting Chun Hong, Wong Yi Hou, and Heng Yee Tong. They were able to secure wins over Afghanistan and Turkmenistan, but didn’t qualify to advance to the Quarterfinal.
Photos from Asian Games 2018 are provided by Rocky Padila and Yoga Prakasita