The throne is empty. The defiant king who once held the throne for three straight years is not returning to defend what was his. The Local MVP trophy is up for grabs this season. Who will be able to claim it?
Here are the Top 5 potential candidates for 2019-2020 Local MVP:
#5 Delvin Goh
At just 24-years-old, the Singaporean fan favorite is already entering his 8th season in the ABL. Standing at 6’7”, the forward has grown by leaps and bounds throughout his time with the Singapore Slingers as evidenced by the upward trend of his statistics.
Back in 2017, Delvin Goh was only scoring 3.5 points while playing 18.9 minutes per game. Last season, he averaged 8.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game while shooting 44% from the field. Those numbers were good enough for him to get a nomination for Local MVP.
With how he’s developing as a key piece for the Slingers, there’s no reason to doubt that his numbers will stop increasing for the next couple of years. If he maintains his ability to keep improving and gets a decent chance to make plays this season, he may very well win the Local MVP award.
#4 Tam Dinh
Most ABL fans might not know much about the older Dinh brother, but he’s planning to crash the party very soon. Tam Dinh is set to join his younger brother Sang in the Saigon Heat this season.
The 6’3” guard is coming off an MVP season in the Vietnamese Basketball League where he averaged a career-high of 24.5 points per game while 54.8% shooting from the field. Dinh has made a name for himself as someone who can weave his way around defenders on the way to the rim and shoot the ball well from deep — making 36.6% of his attempts from three.
As the new guy on the block, don’t be surprised if Tam Dinh brings home the Local MVP trophy this season.
#3 Cai Chen
The Macau Wolf Warriors’ Cai Chen led all locals in scoring last season with 19.7 points per game. In what was a dismal debut season for the Wolf Warriors, he could have very well been the lone bright spot.
Cai was consistently a scoring threat for the Wolf Warriors and would regularly put up impressive numbers. The only thing that stopped him from being nominated was his team’s record because winning does matter for awards like this. If his team was able to win more games, he would probably be placed higher on the list.
Fortunately for the local big man, the Wolf Warriors have signed ABL Champions Douglas Herring and Steven Thomas. The two veterans may be the missing keys for the Wolf Warriors to win more games and help get Cai Chen the award.
#2 Lin Chih Chieh
The local legend of Taiwan, Lin Chih Chieh is set to make his debut in the ABL with the Taipei Fubon Braves. He’s been a staple for the Taiwanese national team for years. Lin last played in the CBA where he put up an average of 7.8 points while shooting 34% from deep. In the recent FIBA Asia Champions Cup, he also averaged 9 points per game.
His age may lead others to discredit his bid for the Local MVP trophy but as he’s shown multiple times in the past, the 37-year-old might just have more left in the tank.
#1 Tyler Lamb
Of all five players on this list, only Tyler Lamb has received an MVP award. The Thai-American won the Heritage Import MVP in 2017 with Hong Kong Eastern. But thanks to a new local eligibility rule that was implemented starting the 2018-2019 season, Lamb can now play as a local for Mono Vampire.
Averaging 16.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 4.0 assists for the Mono Vampire, Lamb helped lead the team to a playoff appearance last season. Despite his numbers, he wasn’t considered for the award as he joined the team in the middle of the season. He played his first game with Mono on January 30, 2019.
This season, Lamb will be with the right team from the get-go and will most definitely be eligible for the award. If he can put up the same numbers alongside the Mono Vampire winning games, he will probably the number one choice for Local MVP.