ASEAN Basketball League

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ASEAN Basketball League (ABL)
Current season, competition or edition:
2014 ABL season
Official logo of ASEAN Basketball League.png
Sport Basketball
Founded 2009
No. of teams 6
Country  Indonesia (2 teams)
 Malaysia (1 team)
 Singapore (1 team)
 Thailand (1 team)
 Vietnam (1 team)
Continent FIBA Asia (Asia)
Most recent champion(s) Philippines San Miguel Beermen (1st title)
Most titles Thailand Chang Thailand Slammers
Philippines Philippine Patriots
Indonesia Indonesia Warriors
Philippines San Miguel Beermen (1 title each)
TV partner(s) Indonesia JakTV
Philippines Fox Sports (Philippines)
Malaysia 8TV
Vietnam HTV
Singapore SuperSports
pan-Asia: ESPN, Fox Sports Asia
Official website www.ASEANBasketballLeague.com

The ASEAN Basketball League, often abbreviated to the ABL, is a men's professional basketball league in Southeast Asia. Six clubs from six different countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) competed in the league's 2009 inaugural season.[1] The league was proposed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and launched on October 1, 2009.[1]

Logo used for the first season with General Electric as the title sponsor.

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

Basketball luminaries from 6 ASEAN nations gathered at the Renaissance Hotel, Makati City in Metro Manila, the Philippines on September 1, 2009 to officially begin a new era of Southeast Asian basketball. In addition to the local basketball leagues in their respective countries, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand have all contributed to setting up a diverse basketball league with passionate country-to-country rivalries.

Teams that participated in the inaugural season were the Brunei Barracudas, Kuala Lumpur Dragons, Philippine Patriots, SM BritAma, Thailand Tigers and former National Basketball League team, the Singapore Slingers. Mirroring the Euroleague in the west, the ABL has its own set of rules in terms of its roster makeup and salary caps. Teams are permitted two imports of non-ASEAN citizenship, three ASEAN imports, one player with one Southeast Asian parent, and seven local players. Teams are allowed to field a team of all local players if they wish to do so.

In July 2012, the league announced that Kuhan Foo, CEO since the ABL's inception, was moving on to a position leading additional regional sports properties. In his place, the league named Anthony Macri as the next CEO, and he will lead the ABL into Season 4, set to begin in early 2013.

The League also revealed a major change in November 2012 when a new ABL logo was unveiled for the 2013 season. The new logo is a shield and predominantly red and orange, although the ABL's signature basketball is still incorporated as a main feature of the design.

“Although the ABL’s ball and net has successfully identified the league with the sport across the region, we felt that we now needed to update the league’s brand to reinforce the league’s ASEAN identity,” said Mr. Anthony Macri, Chief Executive Officer of the ASEAN Basketball League. “So we’ve integrated the full name of the league into the logo and made the letters ASEAN more prominent.”

On February 21, 2014, ABL announced that CEO Anthony Macri is leaving the league after two years, citing family reasons. In a statement, "I thankful to our owners, my colleagues, the players, and most of all, our fans for their support for the last two years.", "This was a very difficult decision as my time with the ABL has been extremely fulfilling for me personally and professionally. This decision is entirely about my family." Macri finished,"I will always have a special place in my heart for the ABL and wish the league nothing but continued success."

League expansion[edit]

In the ABL Internship Program Press Conference held on March 11, 2011, ABL CEO Kuhan Foo reported that 3 teams are on talks for a possible entry as expansion teams, 2 of them are from the Philippines, one of them is San Miguel Corporation and another a Cebu-based company, the other is from Jakarta, Indonesia.

On July 6, 2011, the well-known PBA team, the San Miguel Beermen will bring their winning tradition to the ABL, when they joined the league in a signing ceremony at the San Miguel Corporation office in Mandaluyong. Bobby Parks has been named as the team's head coach. This will be a different team from the original PBA team that is currently named as the Petron Blaze Boosters.

On August 5, 2011, Bangkok Basketball Holdings joined ABL in a signing ceremony at Golden Tulip Sovereign Hotel, the team is owned by Tom Griffin and Jeffrey Premer. The team will be known as the Bangkok Cobras for the upcoming season.

On September 22, 2011, the Brunei Barracudas has announced that they had bow out of the third season of ABL after participating for 2 seasons. This was stated by Barracudas owner Nadzaty Azma Azeez. No reason was announced on their pull-out.

On October 20, 2011, the Saigon Sports Academy officially announced the participation of Saigon Heat into the third season of ABL, making them the first ever international professional basketball team to represent Vietnam.

League format[edit]

Logo used from the second to the third season with AirAsia as the title sponsor.

ABL announced that the tentative start of Season 3 is on January 2012, this is due to FIBA Asia's calendar of tournaments for 2011 (FIBA Asia Championship 2011 and 2011 Southeast Asian Games). From then on, ABL will start in January and ends in June coinciding with FIBA calendar of tournaments. Prior to the 2012, the season started on October and ended on February.

The league is held via a triple home and away format where each team faces each other 3 times per regular season; as such the number of total games per regular season varies depending on the number of participating teams in that year. At the end of the regular season, the four teams with the best records qualifies for the playoffs. In the best-of-three semifinals, the top 2 seeds will have the home court advantage against the lower seeds and will host the first and third (if necessary) games. In the first season, the finals was a best-of-five series, with the higher seed hosting the first two and the fifth (if necessary) games. The Finals format was changed to a best of three series for the second and third seasons, where the higher-ranked team earns home-court advantage and hosts the first and third (if necessary) games. For the fourth season, it will be a quadruple home and away format where each team faces each other 4 times with the semis,a best-of-five, and the finals, a best-of-five series.

The champions are supposed to represent the Southeast Asia Basketball Association (SEABA) in the FIBA Asia Champions Cup. However, since the tournament only limits one club per country, the 2010 champions Philippine Patriots were disallowed from participating since the Smart Gilas Philippine team had already qualified. In 2011, the Chang Thailand Slammers were supposed to represent SEABA but the Thailand Basketball Federation was then suspended by FIBA; this caused the Westports KL Dragons to represent SEABA, as the runner-up Patriots' slot was already taken by the Smart Gilas.

Current clubs[edit]

Locations of the northern ABL teams.
Locations of the southern ABL teams.
Team City / Region Arena (Capacity) Founded Joined ABL Head coach
Thailand Hi-Tech Bangkok City Bangkok Thai-Japanese Stadium, Bangkok (5,000) 2014 2014 Philippines Jing Ruiz
Indonesia Laskar Dreya South Sumatra Sumatra Senayan Gym Hall 1, Jakarta (3,000)
Senayan Trade Center, Jakarta
Hi-Test Arena, Batam
Palembang Sports and Cultural Center, Palembang
2014 2014 Indonesia Tondy Radja Syailendra
Indonesia Indonesia Warriors Jakarta The BritAma Arena, North Jakarta (4,000) 1994 2009 Indonesia Raka Cokorda
Vietnam Saigon Heat Ho Chi Minh City CIS Arena, Ho Chi Minh City 2011 2012 United States Jason Rabedeaux
Singapore Singapore Slingers Singapore OCBC Arena, Singapore (3,000) 2006 2009 Singapore Beng Siang Neo
Malaysia Westports Malaysia Dragons Kuala Lumpur MABA Stadium, Kuala Lumpur (2,000) 2009 2009 Philippines Ariel Vanguardia

Former teams[edit]

Champions[edit]

The finals was a best-of-5 (2–2–1) series in 2010 and again in 2013,it became best-of-3 (1–1–1) series from 2011-12.

Season Finalists Semifinalists
Country Champions Result Country Runners-up Country Semifinalist Country Semifinalist
2009–10  PHI Philippine Patriots^ 3–0  INA Satria Muda BritAma  SIN Singapore Slingers  MAS Kuala Lumpur Dragons
2010–11  THA Chang Thailand Slammers^ 2–0  PHI AirAsia Philippine Patriots  MAS Westports KL Dragons  SIN Singapore Slingers
2012  INA Indonesia Warriors 2–1  PHI San Miguel Beermen^  PHI AirAsia Philippine Patriots  MAS Westports Malaysia Dragons
2013  PHI San Miguel Beermen^ 3–0  INA Indonesia Warriors  MAS Westports Malaysia Dragons  THA Sports Rev Thailand Slammers
2014
  • ^ finished regular season with the best win-loss record.

Awards[edit]

Season Most Valuable Player / Best Local Player Best Import Player
Nationality Player Team Nationality Player Team
2009–10  THA Attaporn Lertmalaiporn Thailand Tigers  USA Jason Dixon Philippine Patriots
2010–11  INA Mario Wuysang SM BritAma  USA Nakiea Miller Westports KL Dragons
2012  PHI Leo Avenido San Miguel Beermen  USA Anthony Johnson[disambiguation needed] AirAsia Philippine Patriots
2013  PHI Asi Taulava San Miguel Beermen  USA Chris Charles Sports Rev Thailand Slammers
2014

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "FIBA Asia – ASEAN Basketball League takes off". FIBA. Retrieved 2008-02-08. 

External links[edit]