Humble Alab looking to make early statement vs. champion HK
The new-look Alab Pilipinas will have the chance to put the ABL on early notice as they take on defending champion Hong Kong at home to open the new season. (From Alab Pilipinas on Twitter, @AlabPilipinas)
If you don't recognize Alab Pilipinas this year, don't worry, your eyes are not fooling you.
Following a rather pedestrian third-place finish last season during its ABL debut, Alab has undergone a near-overall facelift and has its sights set on winning a title for the 2017-2018 season.
Ray Parks remains as the cornerstone of Alab but the team has added veterans Josh Urbiztondo at point guard and Dondon Hontiveros at the wings.
Alab also has two proven imports in Ivan Johnson and Reggie Okosa. To top it all of, the team has intalled Jimmy Alapag as its new head coach.
Now, all that's left to do is put it all together and win the country's third ABL title overall following the championship victories of the Philippine Patriots in 2010 and the San Miguel Beermen in 2013.
"We came here to win it all. Yung support na nakukuha namin as players, for sure will go for it. We're not just here to show up lang," Dondon Hontiveros told ABS-CBN Sports.
Alab's new crew will be tested immediately as they take on defending champion Hong Kong at home to open the season on November 19.
It's the perfect chance for Alab to put the league on early notice and let everyone know that they're coming for the ring.
"I think we are very strong, stronger than last year, but it's never easy to win a championship," Josh Urbiztondo, who made it to the ABL Finals last year with Singapore, said.
"We just have to be humble, stay hungry, and make a statement in our first game against the defending champions. That will gauge where we are and we'll go from there," he added.
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Catch Alab Pilipinas as they open their campaign against the defending ABL champion Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions on Nov. 19, Sunday LIVE 8 p.m. on S+A, S+A HD and via livestream.