Welcome to ASEAN Sports’ first edition of the ABL power rankings. In every edition, all teams will be ranked according to their performances in relation to team and player statistics as well as game results.
After 11 games and two weeks of ABL action, the Chong Sun Kung Fu and Hong Kong Eastern are the two remaining undefeated teams in the league in this early part of the season. Mono Vampire and the Singapore Slingers have won two straight games after opening the season with a loss. Westports Malaysia Dragons and the CLS Knights of Indonesia has suffered a string of losses after a very strong first game.
Surprisingly, Alab Pilipinas, a pre-season favorite has lost its first two games at home and the new comers, the Formosa Dreamers, have also lost their first two games on the road. With the VBA already finished, the Saigon Heat will be making its debut this Saturday, December 9, against Lenny Daniels and the Formosa Dreamers in Ho Chi Minh City.
1. Chongson Kung Fu (3-0)
The team is currently on a 3-game winning streak including a big win against Westports Malaysia Dragons in Kuala Lumpur on November 29. They are beating their opponents by an average of 22 points per game. Anthony Tucker and Justin Howard are leading the team on offense.
The world import duo is part of the top ten scoring list this season. Likewise, Tucker is leading the league in assists, dishing out nine per game and has already recorded 2 triple-doubles after 3 games. Solid contributions from Gou Kai and Caelan Tiongson were also a factor in those three victories.
2. Hong Kong Eastern (2-0)
Two close wins on the road including an overtime victory against the CLS Knights in Surabaya, Indonesia augurs well for the defending champion. Christian Stanhardinger has been clutch for the team, making important baskets when needed in those two games.
He and Tyler Lamb are leading the team on offense with Marcus Eliott not far behind. Ryan Moss, the oldest player in the league, is providing veteran leadership and a steady presence inside. Lee Ki and Adam Xu provide the steady local support for the team of Coach Edu Torres.
3. Mono Vampire (2-1)
It could have been a perfect 3 wins on the season for the team from Thailand, if not for the overtime loss against Marcus Marshall and the Westports Malaysia Dragons at home in their season opener.
The team has bounced back and have registered two victories, including a road win against that same Westports Malaysia Dragons team, converting on 17 three-point shots, and tying the ABL record for most 3-pointers made in a game. Their imports cast of Reggie Johnson, Patrick Sanders, Jason Brickman, and Paul Zamar are leading the team with able support from locals Ratdech Kruatiwa, Teerawat Chanthachon, and Kannut Samerjai.
4. Singapore Slingers (2-1)
A statement win against Tanduay Alab Pilipinas on the road proves that the Slingers are still one of the contenders this season. With the departure of Justin Howard, Xavier Alexander is now without a doubt, the leader of this team, which is trying to win a championship after two failed attempts in the finals.
Ryan Wright is proving to be a good replacement for Howard with his steady offense. He is averaging 23 points per game and is part of the top ten scoring list. A much improved Delvin Goh and the re-emergence of Russel Low provides the local support while ASEAN import AJ Mandani provides the leadership in the backcourt.
5. Westports Malaysia Dragons (1-2)
After a strong start in their season opener, the Dragons have now suffered two straight defeats at home against the Chong Son Kung Fu and Mono Vampire. Marcus Marshall’s record breaking-performance of 60 points in their first game against Mono broke the ABL record for most points scored in a game.
The next two games proved to be bad luck for the Dragons as they not only lost the games at home, but also lost Marcus Marshall to an injury. Curtis Washington should exert more effort on offense to have a greater impact for the team. On a positive note, the locals have been showing quite an improvement and contributing to the team even with the two setbacks. Solid contributions from Ivan Yeoh, Kuek Tian Yuan, and Ting Chun Hong the past two games make Dragons fans optimistic for the coming games.
6. CLS Knights Indonesia (1-3)
A big win at home in the season opener was the lone bright spot for this team as it has already suffered three straight losses, including a hard-fought overtime loss to the defending champions, Hong Kong Eastern, in their last game. The injury of Duke Crews in the very first game has affected the performance of the team.
Not even the return of former champion Evan Brock as a replacement could help the team from their 3-straight defeats. The upside is that Brian Williams broke the ABL record for rebounds in a single game, as he collared 32 big boards against Hong Kong. In addition, the crowd support in Surabaya has been the best we’ve seen in the ABL so far this season.
7. Tanduay Alab Pilipinas (0-2)
The twin losses at home indicate that the team is still a work in progress. Not even the presence of veteran players and two solid imports have prevented the team from suffering two straight defeats. Reggie Okosa is leading the team in offense, averaging 26 points per game, second in the league. Ivan Johnson’s foul trouble is a concern.
Ray Parks’ offense is also down the first two games. The reigning local MVP is averaging 15 points per game, 3 points down from last season. Two players that need to step up on offense are Dondon Hontiveros and Robby Celiz. The “Cebuano Hotshot” has scored a total of 2 points in the first two games while Celiz has not scratched the scoring column in 16 total minutes of action.
8. Formosa Dreamers (0-2)
The new team from Taiwan has suffered two blowout losses on the road by an average of 24 points per game. Though leading the team in offense, the pair of Jaleel Cousins and Lenny Daniel need to produce more for the team that is averaging only 66 points per game in their first two contests. ASEAN import James Forrester is the other guy that needs to step up as he is only averaging four points per game.
Unranked: Saigon Heat (0-0)
The Heat will be making their debut on Saturday, December 9th, at home against former home-town favorite Lenny Daniel and the Formosa Dreamers. Nothing is definite yet with the final line-up of the team, but fans are expecting a good showing for the team and new head coach Kyle Julius. Akeem Scott and Travele Jones will be leading the team with David Arnold and Moses Morgan expected to help.