The 2015-16 season of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) will be ushered in by four exciting games that are sure to quench the thirst of basketball fans in the region.
The season-opener on October 27th will mark the start of two-time champion Hi-Tech Bangkok City’s title defense as they go head-to-head against a familiar foe in the Singapore Slingers.
It is payback time for the Slingers, whose road to the championship last season was blocked by Hi-Tech in the best-of-three semifinal round. For the past five years, the Thai squad has been a thorn in the side of the Singaporeans, quashing the Slingers’ title hopes three times.
Singpore will try to exact revenge and start the season on a high note by trying to pull an upset over Hi-Tech in their own backyard.
October 29, meanwhile, will see the debut of the team that carries perhaps the most popular Filipino name in the world today.
Eight-division boxing world champion Manny Pacquiao has put together a team, the Pacquiao Powervit Pilipinas Aguilas – mostly composed of veterans from the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), who will test its mettle against another newcomer, the Mono Vampire Basketball Club also from Thailand.
Bannered by two-time PBA Most Valuable Player Willie Miller, the Pilipinas Aguilas are aiming to shake things up on their first game but they will have to do it against a team that is fresh from bagging its first ever championship in the Thailand Basketball League (TBL).
Two ABL games in two different countries will be simultaneously played on October 31 as the Westsports Malaysia Dragons open their season versus the squad from the Philippines. It will be a Filipino battle of sorts as Malaysia head coach Ariel Vanguardia put together a team backstopped by Filipino-Americans Jason Brickman and Matthew Brickman and American imports Calvin Godfrey and Reginald Johnson.
The other game pits Saigon Heat against the Singapore Slingers which will be headed by 2014 ABL MVP Wei Long and Filipino-American Kris Rosales who was recently selected in the 2015 PBA Rookie Draft.
More of the 2015-2016 schedule can be found on the ABL’s website.