Two-time World Import MVP Christien Charles will be returning for his second stint with the Saigon Heat in the upcoming ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) season.
After adding forwards Gary Forbes and Sam Thompson to its roster for the 10th edition of the ABL, the Saigon Heat has tabbed seven-footer Christien Charles for the team’s final import slot. The 38-year-old played for the Heat during the 2016-17 season, but only appeared in four games for the Vietnamese club due to a prolonged injury which kept him sidelined.
In addition to his two MVP awards, the former Villanova Wildcat has also been named the ABL’s Defensive Player of the Year three times (2013, 2016, 2018) and won a championship as a member of Hi-Tech Bangkok City in 2014. For his career, Charles has averaged 19.0 points, 14.8 rebounds, and 3.3 blocks per game.
He most recently played for Mono Vampire last season and despite appearing in only three games for the Thai club, averaged 14.3 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per contest.
As opposed to its previous two ABL campaigns when the team opted for a guard in one of its world import slots under former head coach Kyle Julius, the Saigon Heat appear to have ditched that blueprint and instead, are choosing to go big with Kevin Yurkus now at the helm.
With scoring threat and 2019 Vietnam Basketball Association (VBA) MVP Tam Dinh recently signed, who would presumably act as the team’s starting shooting guard, the Heat are hoping that Charles can provide a steady interior presence on the offensive end of the floor along with being a defensive cog as the team’s main rim protector.
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