The Fubon Braves are excited to go up against powerhouse clubs from different countires in the tenth edition of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL).
Though the former Super Basketball League (SBL) champion may be newcomers to the ABL, fans around the region already have expectations for the Taiwanese team due in large part to its deep local lineup.
The roster features former Chinese Taipei national standouts like Hung Chih-Shan, Tsai Wen-Cheng, and Lin Chi-Chieh. Joseph Lin, the younger brother of current Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) superstar and NBA champion Jeremy Lin, is also one of its most reliable local players.
Lin, already a popular figure among fans and the Braves’ player representative during the ABL’s recent press conference in Manila, Philippines, is looking forward to the competitive platform offered by the league.
“I’m very excited, the fanbase is very different and going to different countries is going to be hostile,” Lin said in an interview with ASEAN Sports. “I think our home games will be very fun and I expect a lot of people will be coming to support us.”
The ABL is perhaps best known for its overall competitiveness and home-away format, essentially pitting nation against nation, which were prime factors in the Braves wanting to join the league. Fubon will be playing its home games at both Taipei Heping Basketball Gymnasium and Xinzhuang Gymnasium in New Taipei City.
“First one is fanbase, the second is imports since every team can have three imports, and SBL only allowed two imports with minutes restrictions,” elaborated the American-born guard regarding the differences between the SBL and ABL. “Now, there’s three [imports] that can play the whole game, so I think that is very different.”
Lin was instrumental in the Braves making its first SBL finals appearance in 2018, before the team eventually swept the Taiwan Beer to win the championship this past season. He averaged 15.5 points, 5.4 assists, and 1.5 steals per game throughout that postseason run.
However, in the offseason following that championship title, Lin sustained an injury which prevented him from participating in the recently concluded FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2019 in Thailand.
Though the setback did cause him to miss time with the Braves in its most recent tournament, the 27-year-old is hopeful he can make his ABL debut with the team once the league opens up play in November.
“I should be able to get back to the court in three weeks,” remarked the soft-spoken Lin.
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