Hot off the unveiling of its new logo earlier this week, the ASEAN
Basketball League today announced the teams that will be participating in the
2013 season. The League also revealed the new schedule and some exciting
changes in the League format for the upcoming season.
"The ABL has made tremendous strides over the last three seasons," said league co-founder Tan Sri Tony Fernandes. "Watching the league grow and seeing the passion and love for the sport has been rewarding. I anxiously anticipate this coming season, it has a chance to be better than every other before it."
Last season's champions, the Indonesia Warriors, will be back to defend their
title as well as runner ups the San Miguel Beermen. The two will face each
other again in what is sure to be an explosive season opener on Friday the 11th
of January 2013 in Jakarta. Before the game, the Warriors will be
recognized for their championship victory of last season.
“It was an honour to bring the ABL championship to Indonesia for the first time,” said Warriors team owner Handy P. Soetedjo. “But now we’re looking forward to going down in League history as the first team with back to back championship trophies!”
The Westports Malaysia Dragons will also be back to try and win their first title. The Dragons are fresh off an appearance in the Malaysia National Basketball League finals, and are certainly ready for the action.
The Jobstreet.com Singapore Slingers will also be back, alongside last season's expansion team, the Saigon Heat. ABL Champions from 2011, the Chang Thailand Slammers, also return as they look to rebound from a lackluster 2012 campaign.
“These teams are committed to the long term growth of our league, and we are happy to have them serve as the foundation for future success,” explained ABL CEO Anthony Macri. “We are more excited now than ever about the product we are putting on the floor, and the kind of in-game event experience each of our teams will provide for our fans.”
This season, every participant will play each other four times during the regular season. The four top ranked teams will then enter the Playoffs, which will now be decided by a best of five Semifinals and Finals series. The 2013 ABL Champions will be crowned in June.
Selected ABL games will also be telecast live regionally every week
on ESPN STAR Sports channels throughout the 2013 season. Fans can also tune in
the ABL’s website on http://www.ASEANBasketballLeague.com/,
where the league intends for all of the season’s games to be live-streamed.
“Every initiative we’ve taken is with the fans in mind,” Macri said. “We recognize the growth of digital media and that web-streamed games are a way for our fans to stay more connected to our teams.”
The 2013 season of the ASEAN Basketball League tips off on Friday the 11th of January 2013 in Mahaka Square, Jakarta, Indonesia with a re-match of last season's ABL Finals: the Indonesia Warriors hosting the San Miguel Beermen. The game will be telecast live on ESPN STAR Sports channels. The other games on opening weekend include the Westports Malaysia Dragons visiting the Saigon Heat on Saturday the 12th of January and the Singapore Slingers hosting the Chang Thailand Slammers on Sunday the 13th of January 2013.