Following the exit of ASEAN Basketball League team Alab Pilipinas, the Merlion Cup previously announced the arrival of Satria Muda Pertamina (IBL Indonesia) and another team from the Philippines, NLEX-SCTEX.

Satria Muda is expected to bring the same core that went to the Indonesian Basketball League Finals last season, however, it is yet unclear whether or not recent SEA Games silver medalists and reigning IBL MVP Arki Wisnu will be joining the team as his contract with the team had just expired.

Meanwhile, there are questions regarding the composition of the new Philippine representatives named after two privately-owned connecting expressways. The team will most likely not have any active NLEX players as they are expected to be playing in the playoffs of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) during the duration of the tourney, but the team is still expected to be competitive by consisting mostly of players from their affiliate team, the 2017 PBA D-League Champions Cignal HD Hawkeyes.

According to a report by Inquirer.net, some of the locals playing are Jaypee Belencion, Harold Arboleda, Christopher Sumalinog, Byron Villarias, Alfred Batino, Andreas Cahilig, John Raymundo and reinforced by recent Thailand Basketball League import Maurice Shaw. They will also be joined by former SCTEX team members AJ Vitug and Mark Pangilinan from the now defunct Philippine Commercial Basketball League (PCBL).

Newly minted PBA D-League MVP Raymar Jose, who also competed and won gold at the recent SEA Games basketball tournament may also miss the opportunity to rejoin his club team in the Merlion Cup. The former Kaohsiung Truth heritage import is expected to be recalled by the Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas team to compete in the FIBA Asia Champions Cup in Chenzhou, China during the same period.

PHOTO CREDIT: PBA IMAGES

Defending champions Shanghai Sharks (Chinese Basketball Association), Adelaide 36ers (NBL Australia), KCC Egis (Korean Basketball League), Yulong Luxgen Dinos (SBL Taiwan), and hosts Singapore Slingers complete the cast of the annual tournament to be held at the OCBC Arena from September 20th to the 24th.