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Barracudas play first home game against Patriots this Saturday

THE first two weeks of the sophomore season of the Asean Basketball League (ABL) has shown the competitive nature of the league.

Most of the matches could have gone either way with the league opener seeing the Thailand Slammers edge out the KL Dragons 79-74 in overtime at the Nimibutr Indoor Stadium in Bangkok.

Only four out of the six teams in the league will make it to the playoffs but what is the most important factor that can help teams find a difference and an edge to see them through to the next round?

Looking at last year's statistics, all six teams besides maybe the Singapore Slingers in the league have struggled on the road.

The Slingers are the only side to boast a winning record, four wins to three losses, in games played away from home last season.

Satria Muda BrtiAma (3-4), Dragons (3-5), Barracudas (2-6), Thailand Tigers (1-7) and even the Patriots (3-4) all struggled to notch wins when not playing in their home environment.

Meanwhile, the Patriots are the strongest at home as they defended their way to an 8-0 record. Every other team Slingers (6-2), Satria Muda (5-3), Dragons (4-3) and Barracudas (4-3) all defended their home floor well except for the Tigers (3-5).

Home court advantage seems to be crucial in the league and teams will therefore need to protect their home floor.

The Barracudas are off to a slow start this season with a 0-2 record and things are not looking favourable as they are faced with a tough schedule in the first month of the competition.

They lost to defending champions Philippine Patriots 62-71 in their opener on Oct 3 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City in the Philippines and were dealt another blow with a 76-59 drubbing by the Slammers last Saturday.

They next host the Patriots this Saturday at the Indoor Stadium of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas at 8pm.

Right after their first home game, the Barracudas will go on the road again to face Satria Muda on Oct 23 followed by the Dragons on Oct 30.

Despite it being early in the new ABL season, the Barracudas will be looking to turn things around with a win against the visiting Filipinos.

The Patriots are 2-0 this season after defeating the Slingers at the Singapore Indoor Stadium 62-59 on Saturday.

The Barracudas, however, came up with an impressive 95-70 victory over the Patriots last December, a game dubbed as 'the mother of all victories' for the boys in blue.

It was a historic win as it was the first time that the Sultanate has beaten the Philippines, the region's powerhouse in the sport.

So will lightning strike twice in the same place?

Fans and supporters can finally get an up close glimpse of Brunei's first professional basketball team in action and tickets will be available three hours prior to tip off.

Tickets are priced at $6 and $20 for adults while those under 17 years of age can purchase their tickets for $1.

Those between the ages 12-17 will have to present their identity card at the entrance to purchase their tickets.

The Brunei Times

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