ABL teams tap 7 PH ‘imports’


AT LEAST seven Filipinos are set to suit up as imports when Season 4 of the Asean Basketball League (ABL) gets going this Friday.

Hardly tinkering with their lineup, the Indonesia Warriors vie for a second straight championship with Filipino-American standout Stanley Pringle and former Adamson point guard Jerick Cañada leading their backcourt anew.

Former San Miguel Beer forward Junjun Cabatu joins Singapore this season, teaming up with former PBA guard Don Dulay, who’s playing for the Slingers for the second straight year.

The streaky Patrick Cabahug also returns for Westports Malaysia Dragons, while Jai Reyes and Fil-Am Phillip Morrison banner the Saigon Heat’s backcourt.

Indonesia kicks off its title bid against San Miguel Beer in a rematch of last season’s finals at 7 p.m. on Friday at Mahaka Square in Jakarta.

Pringle, a 6-foot-1 guard who traces his roots in Santa Filomena, Cagayan, provided the spark in the Warriors’ surprise title run last year.

But the new-look Beermen hope to rebound from that upset title loss with the hulking duo of Asi Taulava and Eric Menk, both former PBA Most Valuable Players, beefing up their roster.

Now handled by coach Leo Austria, the Beermen also hope to bank on reigning league MVP Leo Avenido, Chris Banchero, RJ Rizada, Paolo Hubalde and American imports Gabe Freeman and Brian Williams.

Malaysia starts its campaign against Saigon on Saturday at Tan Binh Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City, while Thailand and Singapore clash on Sunday at Singapore Indoor Stadium.

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