Hi-Tech Basketball Club is out to do whatever it takes to win their first Thailand Basketball Super League (TBSL) Championship this season.
The former two-time ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) Champions are looking to bounce back from a runner-up finish in the Thailand Basketball League (TBL), which commences after the TBSL season.
After winning the Thailand Open during the preseason, Hi-Tech has looked very sharp and on a mission. Aside from their one-point win in a thriller over the defending champions Mono Vampire Basketball Club during the opening weekend, Hi-Tech has absolutely been on a tear, winning their next 11 games with an average margin of 26 points.
Now on a 12-game winning streak, is it possible that the team could finish the elimination round with no losses?
“That’s tough. Yes, but getting tougher. We go deep into our bench and hold everyone accountable. Our Thai players are in military this weekend so they won’t play,” said head coach Chris Daleo.
“And the teams are getting better. We have to keep doing work.”
The local core consisting of Kennawat Lertlaokul, Bandit Lakhan, Nakorn Jaisanuk, Wuttipong Dasom, Sukhdave Ghogar, and Patipan Klahan will all be missing the upcoming games due to military service.
Tony Korsah-Dick, Nattapon Kupadit, and Nontapob Vivattanapongpetch will be the only locals joining world imports Mark Saint Fort and Augustus Gilchrist, and heritage imports Avery Scharer and Jeff Alvin Viernes.
Due to the lack of available players, Hi-Tech assistant coach and long-time player Piyapong ‘Boy’ Piroon has been activated and may also see action.
The American head coach believes the team can close out the second round of eliminations strong, as long as they continue to work hard and get everyone to contribute.
“It helps when you have a good group of guys on the same page and puts the team and winning games before their individual stat line,” Daleo said. “We don’t have a scoring leader or a rebounding leader nor a three point leader, but we are 12 and 0.”
“Our teamwork, chemistry, and defense. All imports and locals are getting along well with the same goal. That is why we are winning,” states guard Jeff Viernes fully buying into that mindset set by the coach.
“Every other team is playing well this second round. Based on our performances the past two games, there is a risk we might lose games soon,” adds Viernes. “But I am confident we can win every game if we play better and compete to win the game.”
The depleted Hi-Tech team will be facing off against an upstart Luang Prabang team from Laos, and perennial playoff contender Mono Thewphaigarm this upcoming weekend, but Daleo is confident they could keep the ball rolling as long as they stick to that winning formula.
“If one player deviates from that page, then the wheels fall off. The goal, anytime you start a season, is to win every game, especially the last one.”