Let’s take all of our excitement aside and focus on the game ahead of us.
The season opener will be between the Singapore Slingers and Hitech Bangkok City with the Thai teams as the host.
Both teams are probably coming into this game to “experiment” more than anything. From what I know, neither team has had any major tune up games, so this will probably be the first time the imports and the locals will have a chance to play together at full pace. The Hitech roster have been playing together for most of the Thailand Basketball League season, but they will still have to integrate Tyler Lamb and Freddie Goldstein along with Wuttipong Dasom, Sukdave Ghogar, and Chris Charles who returned to action late in the season with injuries.
Singapore might actually have an easier time adjusting to each other as 9 of their locals have been competing internationally for the entire summer. Along with Justin Howard that played with them last year, it could potentially be only meshing in Kris Rosales and Xavier Alexander into their system.
What Singapore might have trouble with is the Venue. Hitech will be hosting at Thung Kru stadium. Thung Kru will be unlike any other stadium that the Slingers will have recently played in the ABL and with it being the practice grounds of Hitech, expect this to play some sort of role in the result.
One interesting thing is that the Slingers are the only team from last season to have a winning record against Hitech Bangkok City in the regular season. They lost both games at OCBC and the final game of the season in a meaningless matchup before the playoffs.
Don’t expect the teams to explode out of the gates, as this is only game one. Both teams have a long way to go. However, Hitech is starting of their campaign to defend the ABL crown by playing in their own home against a team that represents the country that just beat Thailand twice in the SEA Games to keep Thailand without a medal.
Expect them to be SUPER motivated to win this game.
TV Channel: True Sports 7
Internet Live Stream: ASEAN Basketball League Youtube Channel
Venue: Thung Kru Stadium, Soi Prachautit 74/1
Time: 7.00 PM (GMT +7)