A new Thailand-based team has been formed with their sights set on joining the next season of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL).
The newly-formed franchise named Bangkok Storm hopes to be the second Thai squad to play in the tenth season of the regional league, joining local powerhouse Mono Vampire Basketball Club.
Former Cantho Catfish Head Coach Kevin Yurkus will be at the helm of the newly established team, serving as the president and general manager.
While the venture is in its infancy stage, Yurkus himself is no rookie in the ASEAN basketball circuit, having coached Madgoat Basketball Club in Thailand for three seasons before moving to Vietnam to coach the Catfish, leading them to two straight finals appearances and a championship in 2018.
The two-time Vietnam Basketball Association (VBA) coach of the year has had previous experience in setting up a basketball franchise when he helped create Mekong United, serving as both team president and head coach when they competed in the 2018 Thailand Basketball Super League (TBSL).
“I chose to accept this opportunity to join Bangkok Storm for the challenge of creating a world-class organization that will compete at the highest levels regionally and internationally,” Yurkus remarked.
“There are no immediate plans to play in the Thai leagues. We are starting early so we can properly prepare for the ABL. There is a lot of work to do including the application process. It would be an honor if we could get in. Right now, we are in the process of securing a strategic basketball partner in Thailand.”
While there has been no official confirmation from the Storm thus far, there have been rumors circulating that the organization already has a working agreement in place with Hitech Basketball Club to use their players if they successfully join the ABL. Hitech unarguably has the best local players outside of domestic rivals Mono Vampire.
The defending Thailand Basketball League (TBL) champions carry an impressive track record both in the Thai domestic leagues and in the ABL, where they had previously won two championships before bowing out after the 2015-16 season.
Bangkok Storm is only one of numerous basketball franchises queuing up to potentially join the ABL, joining several others like the Hanoi Buffaloes (Vietnam), North Borneo Roosters (Malaysia), and the IECO Green Warriors (Philippines), who have all expressed serious intentions to compete in the league in the near future.
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