FILIPINO basketball enthusiasts have something new to look forward to as the new Philippine team, Alab Pilipinas, will represent the country in the upcoming Asean Basketball League, with all their games airing on ABS-CBN Sports and Action and the games in the Philippines, LIVE in key countries worldwide via TFC.
ABL is a basketball league that was a brainchild of different Asean Leaders created during a meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and was launched in 2009, no less than in the Philippines. The league is open to all countries that are members of the Asean.
This season, ABL’s 7th, the league marks a milestone as it opens to two non-Asean countries: Hong Kong Eastern Sports Club and Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Truth.
According to ABL Chief Operating Officer Jericho Ilagan, during the press conference for the opening of the league, the inclusion of non-Asean countries in the league “is a great sign for the league because it shows that the ABL is reaching more and more people.”
He also noted that this season will be “very exciting” since the current champion Westports Malaysia Dragon will try to defend their title, the Singapore Slingers thirsty to win their first championship, and the three new teams—Alab Pilipinas, Hong Kong Eastern Sports Club and Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Truth—up to prove themselves.
Dino Laurena, head of ABS-CBN Integrated Sports said in a recent interview with abs-cbnnews.com that as a way of promoting nation-building, the Alab Pilipinas games will air live on ABS-CBN Sports & Action.
“These games will end up becoming national events, something that people will anticipate. It’s a way for us to show our sense of pride,” he notes. “Hopefully, it will also bring people together and give them a reason to celebrate,” Laurena muses.
Alab Pilipinas is the 4th team that will represent the country in ABL, following the first three teams: the AirAsia Philippine Patriots which won the 2010 championships; San Miguel Beermen that won the 2013 title; and the Pilipinas MX3 Kings.
Alab Pilipinas coach, Ronald Cuan said in an interview with abs-cbnnews.com that it is important for the country to have a “strong presence” in ABL.
“The ABL is an established league that features the best in the ASEAN region, and it would be very healthy for Philippine basketball to continue making a strong presence there.”
This year’s team is composed of Val Acuna, Robby Celiz, Jeric Fortuna, Paulo Hubalde, Anthony Gavieres, Igee King, Jens Knuttel, Jovet Mendoza, JR Cawaling, Bobby Ray Parks, and Filipino-American Lawrence Domingo. Two more World players will join the team and will be announced soon.
As for the team’s fighting chance this season, Cuan boasts that Alab players “will be a fighting team with a big heart, very true to the Philippine brand of basketball of speed; accuracy from the outside and inside; team chemistry; and brick-wall defense; not to mention the individual talent of Filipinos in the sport.”
The Asean Basketball League opened Friday, with the Singapore Slingers and Westports Malaysia Dragons as the opening game, airing on ABS-CBN Sports and Action in key countries around the world via TFC.
Also, catch the home games of Alab Pilipinas LIVE on ABS-CBN Sports and Action via TFC, with their first game happening here in the country on Nov. 27 (Manila time), where they will be up against Singapore Slingers. Catch-up matches are also available it via TFC.tv and TFC IPTV.
For more updates on Alab Pilipinas’ upcoming games, visit TFC’s Facebook page applicable to your area. Connect with fellow global Kapamilyas by following @KapamilyaTFC in Twitter and Instagram.
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