Another foreign club team is coming back for a second go-around in the upcoming Thailand Basketball Super League (TBSL).
Singapore’s Adroit Sports Association started out as a pro-am squad comprised of established names in the local basketball scene before appearing professionally as a guest team in the TBSL last season.
Coming in as a relatively young group with an average age of 25, one of the team’s main goals was to give their guys a taste of high-level professional basketball competition. Relying on world import American-swingman Ken Smith, and Filipino forwards Kenneth Acibar and John Foronda, the team struggled to keep up with more experienced teams throughout the season.
Two-time ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) Local MVP Wong Wei Long, who has been playing with the team in previous Pro-Am competitions, will join the TBSL team after begging off from the Singapore Slingers this season due to schedule restraints between his business ventures outside the organization and competition scheduling with the team. He found a stint in the Thai league to have a better balance for him since the league only plays during weekends.
Other Singapore national team members have also played for Adroit in various tournaments in the past, such as Ng Han Bin, Larry Liew, Leon Kwek, and Wu Qingde to name a few.
With the return of former Slingers guard Toh Qing Huang and the addition of the ABL’s all-time leading scorer Leo Avenido for the upcoming campaign, Adroit hopes to give a better push to make the playoff rounds.
“National service restricted my participation last year. I’m still currently serving in the military, but I don’t think I will miss a lot of games now,” says 23-year old guard Toh Qing Huang. “We had better preparation this season as compared to the previous one. We can expect to be a stronger and more cohesive unit.”
Leo Avenido, who last played for Filipino club Kabayan in the TBSL and in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) D-League, is the most seasoned among all the players in the Adroit line-up. He admits to being excited to be back playing high-level basketball.
“Very happy with the trust they gave me even though we aren’t getting any younger,” laughs the 38-year-old veteran guard. “My purpose is to teach the young locals of Singapore on how to play tough and physical, teach them the dedication necessary to play in this level, and of course, I’m also here to perform. Just lucky to be here and playing for this long.”
Adroit also added Filipino-Kiwi Tim Habelito, Stephen Gabriel, Everisto Pasipamire, and Neville Chivhanganye to fill the import slots as they retained locals Koa Wei Quan and Poh Wei Hao. Lau Ka Shing, Justin Tan, Zhou Zhen Jie, Gary Yeo, Ng Kian Hao, Lai Wei Chang will complete the roster.
The Singaporean club returns for a second straight season in the TBSL and will be joined by foreign teams Mekong United (Vietnam), Kabayan (Philippines), Luang Prabang (Laos), and local mainstay clubs Mono Vampire, Mono Thewphaingarm, Hitech Basketball Club, PEA Basketball, Madgoat, and T-Rex (formerly known as the Dunking Raptors).
Adroit Basketball debuts against rookie squad Luang Prabang when the TBSL season opens on the 27th of January.