The KL Dragons announced their imports line up for the upcoming ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) season after signing former NBA guard Sundiata Gaines, Nigerian American center Nnaana Egwu, and returning American forward Chris Eversley.
Sundiata Gaines played five seasons in the NBA for the Utah Jazz, New Jersey Nets, Toronto Raptors and the Minnesota Timberwolves, while also bringing international playing experience in Italy, China, Turkey, Israel, Georgia, Venezuela and Uruguay. The 32-year-old guard will come fresh from a stint with Defensor Sporting Club Montevideo in Uruguay where he averaged 23.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 5.7 assists as he led his team to the semi finals.
Nnanna Egwu, who holds the University of Illinois’ record for most blocks, comes with experience playing in the NBA G League, New Zealand and Australia, where he played under the Dragon’s new head coach Jamie Pearlman for two seasons with the Cairns Taipans.
Meanwhile, the returning Chris Eversley, who was a late addition to the Dragons last season averaged 28.1 points and 9.7 rebounds in seven games for the team, albeit failing to help them qualify for the ABL playoffs.
In a quick chat with ASEAN Sports, Pearlman said the players were signed because he believe that all three players have great team culture mindsets. He also stated that all three are hardworking players when it comes to defense and will bring a lot of intangible aspects to the Dragons gameplay.
Pearlman also cited familiarity with Egwu was key and that he will be a key part in helping him set the defensive system for the team.
During the Malaysia Hoops Challenge in September, the Dragons finished with a 1-4 record, but Pearlman was pleased with the dedication both on offense and defense displayed by Eversley. He observed that Eversley was truly a player that gives his all for all teammates and his positive influence to the local players will be important for the season.
The Dragons tip off their ABL Season on the road on November 23rd against their traditional rivals, the Singapore Slingers.