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Alab Pilipinas names Jimmy Alapag as head coach



Alab Pilipinas will enter their second season with a living legend steering the team as Jimmy Alapag was named as the head coach of the Philippines’ representative in the Asean Basketball League, Saturday afternoon.

“It has a new ring to it. Siyempre, it’s really an exciting opportunity,” the 39-year-old shared.

“I’m just really thankful for Alab for bringing me on.”

Alapag retired from professional basketball back in November of 2016 after a spectacular career that spanned 14 years. The 5-foot-9 floor general won six PBA crowns and an MVP honor to boot back in 2011.

Moreover, he was also a staple in Gilas Pilipinas, being part of the Men’s National Basketball team from 2007 to 2015.

After retirement, Alapag was immediately tapped by Meralco Bolts as team consultant. However, with the opportunity of steering his own team, he had to give up Meralco for Alab.

“Not anymore,” he said if he will still be part of Norman Black’s staff.

“I’ll still be with Gilas. I’m very thankful to Alab because this opportunity still allows me to continue my work for the national team.”

Alapag takes over from Mac Cuan, who will still be part of the team as assistant coach. And the sure-shot hall-of-famer plans to bring in a different culture come the 2017-18 ABL Season to end the country’s four-year ABL Championship drought.

“I hope that we’re a very good perimeter shooting team. One of the plans is to incorporate lots of shooting in training. Our focus for our players is to establish a winning culture and put ourselves in a position to compete for a championship,” he said.

“It’s a new perspective compared to playing in front of Filipinos. I can’t express how excited I am.”



Where is Joshua Munzon?



Still remember Joshua Munzon?

The uber-athletic Fil-American made waves in the ASEAN Basketball League last season, producing highlight-worthy plays and excellent numbers for Vietnamese squad Saigon Heat and the Westports Malaysia Dragons.

He had also gained ground with Filipino fans when he and Saigon came the Philippines back in January to face Alab Pilipinas. The Heat may have lost 99-79, but Munzon won the hearts of Pinoys that night with the way he played.

But now, with the new ABL season rolling, he is nowhere to be found.

It is baffling, to say the least, that such a talented cager like Munzon isn’t suiting up for an ABL squad this season, considering that he posted commendable numbers of 19.4 points and nearly five steals in his rookie year.

He still made strides in the Thailand League with club team PEA, after his ABL stint last March. However, it was still a mystery why Munzon isn’t in the ABL, especially with the amount of teams that want his services.

But he has finally shed light on the issue.

“Me and KL (Westports) couldn’t agree to terms on a contract, so I tried to sign with another team. But I guess KL would have to release me to play for another team, although I’m not under contract with KL,” Munzon told Tiebreaker Times.

Munzon added that the apparent “gentlemen’s agreement” among the ABL team owners — which means he has to wait for a year before signing with another club — is what landed him in this unfortunate situation.

“KL told me they won’t release me to sign with another team this season, so I’m going to have to wait ’til next season to sign with another team,” revealed Munzon, who also shared that five ABL teams had reached out to him.

The California State-LA alumnus is currently at his home in Los Angeles, continuing his workouts and waiting for developments, if any. But Munzon did not hide the fact that being held like this is extremely disappointing.

“Very tough. It’s been a very unfortunate situation that I definitely don’t feel I deserve to be in.”

Back in January, Munzon had actually made clear his intentions of playing in the Philippines. Not for a Filipino ABL team, though, but in the PBA. And he was also aware of what he has to do first: play in the D-League.

“Yeah, play in the D-League first,” Munzon was quoted saying back then. “We’ll see after the (2016-2017) season. I’ll weigh my options first and go from there.

“But definitely get in the D-League first, and hopefully move forward from there.”

When he wasn’t seen anywhere in the ABL, those who have been following Munzon’s career assumed that he was bound to fulfill his plans, and it was expected that he will make himself eligible in the 2017 D-League Draft.

Unfortunately, that did not happen.

“I wasn’t aware of the deadlines to apply,” admitted Munzon, the consensus top pick, as the deadline of submission of requirements for Fil-foreign applicants was due last November 10. “I think I’m too late for PBA D-League.”

Had Munzon joined this year’s draft, teams would definitely show strong interest. Standing at six-foot-five with the ability to attack the rim, shoot from downtown, and defend, he perfectly fits the Filipinos’ style of play.

But until then, the fans still have to wait.

He may be clouded with uncertainties in the ABL, but that does not spell the end of Munzon’s young pro career. In fact, he might even fly back to Southeast Asia and return to Thailand for yet another campaign.

“I could possibly be playing in the upcoming TBSL season in Thailand,” Munzon shared. “[But] I’m not sure which team yet though, but I should know sooner than later.”

Munzon is slowly carving a niche for himself as a journeyman in this part of Asia. Asked if he will soon fly to the Philippines to play in the PBA, the 22-year-old said that that possibility will happen “in a matter of time.”

“I would have to play D-League before [going into the PBA], or wait until I’m 28 — but I’m 22,” he quipped. “But I definitely see myself playing in the PBA eventually.

“It’s just a matter of time.”

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Rudy Lingganay makes ABL return, joins CLS Knights



Photo from CLS Knights' Instagram account

After a brief stint with the TNT Katropa, 31-year-old Rudy Lingganay returned to where he made a name for himself as he will make a return to the ASEAN Basketball League, joining the CLS Knights Indonesia.

The news was first reported by

Lingganay will have a huge role with the Knights as the team sees him as the tempo-dictator of the team.

“We recruited him to make our game faster,” team manager Christoper Tanuwidjaja said in a statement.

“Hopefully his experience in the ABL, TBSL, and the PBA will have a positive effect on the team.”

During the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup, the 5-foot-10 guard was tapped by TNT. He played in just eight games, playing back-up to Jayson Castro.

This is not his first dance in the ABL however, playing for the Kuala Lumpur Dragons during the first two seasons of the league. He averaged 12.0 points on 34.3 percent shooting from downtown and 3.6 rebounds in his ABL career.

The former University of the East Red Warrior joins Filipino-Indonesian Biboy Enguio in the team. Enguio also played for UE.

CLS is currently sporting a one win-three loss card.

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Christian Standhardinger brings home second Heritage Import of the Week crown



Photo from ASEAN Basketball League

Christian Standhardinger was the undisputed Player of the Week

After almost erasing the scoring record for Heritage Imports, Filipino-German Christian Standhardinger of the Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Team was crowned as the unanimous ABL Heritage Player of the Week.

The 6-foot-7 Philippine export averaged 29.0 points, 13.5 rebounds, 3.5 steals, 2.5 assists, and 1.5 blocks during the week that spanned from December 4 to 10, 2017.

Last December 8, the 2017 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist posted a statline of 40 points, 17 rebounds, three assists, and five steals to lead his team to a 112-105 road win over the Mono Vampire Basketball Club.

The 28-year-old big man followed this up with a complete outing of 18 points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals, and three blocks in an 81-77 victory over the Singapore Slingers in the latter’s homefloor.

Standhardinger bested Filipino-American Jason Brickman of Mono Vampire for the crown. Brickman, a floor general, averaged 9.0 points on 50 percent shooting to go along with 11.5 assists, and 3.0 steals during the same span.

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Christian Standhardinger seeks improvements even after scoring 40



Photo by ASEAN Basketball League

Christian Standhardinger continues to show the ASEAN Basketball League why he is the top overall pick in the 2017 PBA Draft.

After impressive outings in the first two games of the season, the Filipino-German was unstoppable Friday evening, helping defending champions Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Team derail the streaking Mono Vampire Basketball Club, 112-105, at Stadium 29 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Without World Import Ryan Moss and three of his teammates fouling out, the 6-foot-7 big man was given the freedom to operate. And he did not waste this opportunity, going 15-for-21 from the field and 10-for-14 from the stripe to reach 40 points.

Photo from ASEAN Basketball League

Still, Standhardinger did not look at the positives of his outing, instead focusing on the errors he had made.

“Actually today was not a good day, I had three easy lay-ups that I missed so I had apologize to my teammates for it because I messed up their assists,” said the 2017 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist, who also had 17 rebounds, three assists, and a block in 40 minutes of game time.

“But everything else, the victory is the most important thing so I’m happy that everything worked out.”

His 40-point outing is the second highest scoring output by a Heritage Import. Matthew Wright holds the record after finishing with 41 points last February 7, 2016, leading the Kuala Lumpur Dragons to a win against Hi-Tech Bangkok City.

With the win, Hong Kong Eastern is knotted with Chong Son Kung Fu on top of the standings with identical 3-0 records.

“It’s a great league. I’m so happy that we’re competing at this high level,” added the incoming San Miguel Beermen rookie.

In three games, the 28-year-old is currently posting stellar numbers of 28.33 points, 12.67 rebounds, and 3.0 steals per game. Despite this, Standhardinger still feels he still has a lot of things to improve on.

“I have a lot to learn,” the Munich-born cager shared.

“I’ll never be done with improving and learning and I’m very excited of the journey and to hopefully get better every single day.”

And that is just a scary thought for both the ABL and the PBA.

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