With less than two months to go for the start of the ninth ASEAN Basketball League season, two ABL Teams, the 2016/2017 Champions, Hong Kong Eastern and Macau Black Bears (formerly known as Chong Son Kung Fu) head to Malaysia to participate in the 2018 Seri Mutiara Cup from the 2nd to 7th of October 2018 at MABA Stadium, Kuala Lumpur, along with six other teams.
The Seri Mutiara Cup is an annual international basketball club tournament that has was started in 2015 and served as a tournament to bring international competition to Malaysia. The tournament is now seen as a key pre season tournament for basketball teams across the region and has seen participation by teams from the PBA, CBA, KBL and B League (Japan) among a few.
Hong Kong Eastern will line up new import signings, the 7 ft 5 Samuel Deguara and Trey Gilder. Former World Import MVP, Marcus Elliott along with returning mainstay locals Lee Ki, Tang Chi Hang, Lau Tsz Lai and Adam Xu. Chan Siu Wing also returns to the team after missing the entire 2017/18 season due to injury.
Eastern will also be parading new signings, Hong Kong basketball veterans Lam Man Chun and Chan Yik Lun, signed from domestic rivals. Fans should also be on the look out for exciting young guard, Ricky Yang who was a key contributor to Eastern’s first ever domestic A1 Championship this year.
Macau Black Bears will see last season returnees World Import and Heritage Import MVPs, Anthony Tucker and Mikh McKinney lead the team. With only two other returnees from last season, ‘Camel’ Luo Yongxan and Liu Zankun, Macau will look to use the Seri Mutiara Cup to further develop team chemistry.
New signings to look out for are US NCAA experienced players, Derek King and Kane Ma along with Canadian-Hong Konger Nathan Yu, a multiple time A1 Champion.
The other ASEAN presence at the Seri Mutiara Cup will be the host country team Malaysia Matrix who will feature Malaysian national team players led by Wong Yi Hou and Chin Zhi Shin partnered with import players including the recent PBA D League Foundations Cup MVP, Jeff Viernes.
The groupings for the 2018 Seri Mutiara Cup will be:-
Malaysia Matrix, Macau Black Bears (ABL), KCC Egis (South Korea, KBL), BC Partizan (Serbia)
Illawara Hawks (NBL Australia), Fubon Braves (Taiwan SBL), Hong Kong Eastern (ABL), Texas All Stars (USA)