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The Barracudas will face off against the Patriots, at the Ynares Sports Arena, tomorrow.Picture: BT/ Saifulizam
Saturday, October 2, 2010

THE much awaited second season of the AirAsia ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) is finally here.

The sophomore season is bound to bring more action and suspense with six teams fighting for the top four spots culminating in playoffs.

The Chang Thailand Slammers and Westports KL Dragons will tip off in the league opener today at the Nimibutr Indoor Stadium in Bangkok at 8pm.

The other teams in the league include Brunei's very own Barracudas, the defending champions Philippine Patriots, Singapore Slingers and Indonesia's Satria Muda BritAma.

Fans of the ABL would want to feast their eyes on the juicy matchup between the Malaysians and the Thais. The Dragons went 2-1 against the Thailand Tigers, who was marred with controversy at the end of the season, changing their name to the Cobras before settling on the Slammers.

However, it is almost like a match between two brand new teams with different imports and players.

American Jason Dixon (205-C-73, college: Liberty) who laced up for the Patriots last season and won the ABL Best Import award, will lead the charge for the newly-formed Slammers. Dixon averaged a double-double with 15.2 points and 10.9 rebounds per game.

Alongside him will be his compatriot Chris Kuete, who suited up for the Dragons in the inaugural season. He too can pack a punch averaging 17.8 points and 9.3 rebounds per game for the Dragons.

However, the Slammers only have one Filipino import in Eric Canlas but are boosted with the return of reigning league MVP, Atttaporn Lertmalaiporn, in the lineup.

The Dragons are a competitive team having won the National Basketball League 2010 with a mixture of new faces along with some of the experienced cagers from the previous season.

The Irish duo of Jason Killeen and Thomas Grace Conor are set to be international imports.

Returning local point-guard Guganeswaran Batumalai will be the captain of the team. Loh Shee Fai, who can land a barrage of treys will also be a threat to the Thai's defence.

Two other games will be contested tomorrow with the Barracudas facing off against the Patriots, at the Ynares Sports Arena while the Slingers take on Satria Muda at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

The Brunei Times  

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