In what came to be a complete 180 degree reversal from its debut ABL campaign, the Taiwanese squad was able to turn itself around in just a single season, jumping from a last place finish during the 2017-18 regular season, to becoming the league’s top team in 2018-19. With its two latest offseason signings, the Formosa Dreamers will be looking to build upon that success in hopes of winning a title in its third season in the regional league.
“I have heard nothing but great things about the Dreamers and the ABL,” shared Cullen Russo, an all-around big man who has experience playing professionally in Japan. “I am excited and ready to get to work.”
Who better to hear from regarding experiences with the Dreamers and playing in the ABL than from former Dreamers import William Artino, whom Bubalo is friends with and has played alongside back from their time in Estonia. Though Artino may have had a helping hand in the Herzegovinian big man’s decision to sign with Formosa, it seems as though a move East was bound to eventually happen in his professional basketball playing career.
“Asia was always a good option for me and this year it just happened. I’m happy to be here and have that opportunity to show what I can do,” the 28-year-old acknowledged.
While Bubalo is listed at 7’0″, his import running mate, Russo, is not far behind standing at 6’9″, giving the Dreamers plenty of length to cover their interior needs. But while the two are close in height, both offer different styles of play.
Russo is the more athletic player of the duo, and will offer a jack-of-all-trades type of versatility at the power forward position. His mobility and energy should complement well with Bubalo’s more traditional big man set of skills down low, as the veteran center’s footwork in the paint will likely feature in the league’s highlights regularly.
When asked what their goals were for the forthcoming tenth edition of the ABL, both imports were quick to put their new team and its fans above all else.
“The only goal I have is to help the team win as many games as we can, and to win a championship,” answered Russo.
Bubalo took a similar approach as his new teammate, adding, “I want to see us play as best as we can, to do our best and give everything we have in every game. With this attitude, we can achieve a lot.”
The departures of William Artino, Malcolm Miller, and Head Coach Dean Murray left big shoes for their successors to fill, but Formosa Dreamers fans can be rest assured that the team’s latest signings are up to the challenge of bringing continued excitement and memorable moments to Changhua Stadium this upcoming season.
The Dreamers are set to participate in an annual pocket tournament in Hualien, Taiwan, followed by the MABA International Basketball Invitational in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, before starting its 2019-20 ABL campaign.
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