After an intense regular season spanning over 5 months and 90 games, the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) is now ready to head into the post-season.
The #ABL8Playoffs will be featuring the top 6 teams in the standings to determine the champion of the 2017-2018 ABL Season.
Eliminated teams are the CLS Knights Indonesia (5-15), Westports Malaysia Dragons (5-15), and the Formosa Dreamers (1-19).
Newcomers Chong Son Kung Fu have been making a strong impression in their debut season. They have gone undefeated at their homecourt, Nanhai District Gymnasium, being only the second team in league history to complete the sweep. Despite being the youngest team in the league, they came out with 15 wins, the best record of the regular season. Chong Son will enjoy homecourt-advantage throughout the playoffs as well as a Quarter-Finals Bye.
The backcourt combo of Anthony Tucker and Mikh McKinney gives Chong Son one of the most skilled and efficient 1-2 punches in the league.
The Defending Champions, Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Team, are still going strong in their second season. After returning last season’s Coach of the Year, World Import MVP, and Heritage Import MVP, Eastern has been able to secure a 14-6 record which is good for second place in the standings. While their loss in the regular season finale cost them the top spot, they’ll settle for a Quarter-Finals Bye nonetheless.
The threeขheaded monster of Marcus Elliott, Tyler Lamb, and Christian Standhardinger are all averaging over 20 points per game, forcing opposing teams to pick their poison on a nightly basis.
The Quarter-Finals and Semi-FInals will be decided in a Best-of-3 series, while the Finals will go down in a Best-of-5 battle.
The first matchup in the Quarter-Finals of the playoffs will be between 3rd Seed San Miguel Alab Pilipinas (14-6) and 6th Seed Saigon Heat (10-10). The winner will face 2nd Seed Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Team in the Semi-Finals.
Alab Pilipinas started the season on the wrong foot, going on a three-game losing streak heading into the new year. After some change of personnel, they turned things around. The Philippines-based team went through the entire month of February without a loss during their 8-game winning streak, the longest streak among all teams this season.
Reigning Local MVP Ray Parks Jr. is a top candidate to repeat the award. He’s been flanked with a strong defensive squad led by World Imports Renaldo Balkman and Justin Brownlee.
They will be going up against the Saigon Heat, one of the most uniquely structured teams in the league. Rookie Head Coach Kyle Julius has the team playing at breakneck speed systemed to create efficient threes. The quartet of Akeem Scott, Maxie Esho, Moses Morgan, and Michael Williams are a threat to go off every night. That’s why the Heat are the only team to have 4 players averaging over 17 points this season as well as having the most three-point shots made in a season.
The first game will take place in FilOil Fling V Center, San Juan City at 8:00 PM, April 1st.
The series then goes to CIS Arena, Ho Chi Minh City on April 7th where the will commence at 7:00 PM.
If necessary, the two teams will head back to Manila to play at Sta. Rosa Multi-Complex Center on April 11th to play the deciding game at 8:00 PM.
The other matchup in the Quarter-Finals will be between 4th seed Mono Vampire Basketball Club (14-6) and 5th seed Singapore Slingers (12-09). The winner will face 1st Seed Chong Son Kung Fu.
Mono Vampire have been taking the league by storm with their uber-efficient offense. Not only have they scored the most points and assists in a single season, they have also done it at the highest Field Goal Percentage rate ever as well.
Jason Brickman has been a master conductor for the team, feeding efficient scorers like Mike Singletary and Samuel Deguara.
Their opponents will be the Singapore Slingers who are back for their 4th straight playoff appearance and looking for a third trip to the Finals.
The Slingers are still banking on their trademark lockdown defense, anchored this year by shot-blocking machine Chris Charles.
As one of the most experienced teams in the playoffs, they are expected to make a deep run and will not back down in any situation.
Now in his third season, Xavier Alexander is putting up some of his best numbers, hoping to win it all this season.
The two teams will matchup for the first time on April 6th at 3:30 PM in Stadium 29 Bangkok.
The Slingers will then host Mono Vampire Basketball Club in Game 2 on April 8th at OCBC Arena, Singapore.
If the series remains tied, the final showdown will be at Stadium 29 once again on April 11th at 6:30 PM.