Alab Pilipinas to return for second season in ABL

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Apr 08, 2017 09:00 PM
Alab Pilipinas to return for second season in ABL
ENCORE. Alab Pilipinas will be out to build on a playoff finish in their first season in the ABL.

Alab Pilipinas’ maiden campaign in the Asean Basketball League ended with a whimper.

At the receiving end of back-to-back beatdowns by Singapore in the best-of-three semifinals, the Filipinos wound up their season with an overall 11-11 record.

Even with the dispiriting end, however, the Philippine side will be returning for another go-round next year. “We’re definitely coming back,” team owner Charlie Dy said last Saturday.

Now able to look back, Dy said Alab’s first season was a success. As he put it, “I think I can say it’s an achievement that we were able to finish in good position. That’s why I hope our supporters will continue to support us next season.”

Indeed, continued support from Filipinos remains to be key for the ABL itself. “I think every time you have a Philippine team in any tournament, it brings passionate fans to the game and with it, competitive in the tournament,” league head Jericho Ilagan said.

From 2009 to 2016, three different teams have represented the Philippines in Southeast Asia’s regional tournament.

With that turnover, this will be the first time since 2012 that the same squad will represent the Filipinos for two straight seasons.

Now that there will be stability in that aspect, the next step is to come up with a much improved Alab for the following year. “This was a good learning experience. We formed the team only two weeks before the league started and we made it to the semifinals,” the team owner said.

He then continued, “We’ll regroup (after one week) and then start forming a stronger team for next season.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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