With the ASEAN Basketball League entering the toughest stretch of the season, the teams are starting to load up.
However, one team suffered a huge blow in its campaign as the Formosa Dreamers lost Filipino-Canadian James Forrester for the season due to a season-ending injury.
Forrester, the fourth overall pick in the 2013 draft, completely tore his right Achilles tendon during the team’s practice last December 2.
The 28-year-old only played in two games for the Dreamers, finishing with seven points and two rebounds in a 73-94 loss to the CLS Knights before tallying 11 points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals, and a block in a 59-86 defeat to Chongson Kung Fu.
It usually takes six to eight months to recover from this type of injury. According to the Manila Times, Forrester is rehabilitating in Toronto, Canada.
Formosa is currently 1-4 in the standings.
On the other hand, the Saigon Heat beefed up its roster by adding 26-year-old Filipino-American Michael Williams to its roster, according to the league’s official website.
The addition of Williams comes in the wake of David Arnold’s reclassification from Heritage Import to local after acquiring his citizenship.
Williams, who stands at 6-foot-2, played in the NBA G-League. He averaged 3.6 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 2.0 assists with the Canton Charge.
The Filipino-American guard averaged 12.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in his collegiate career that saw him spend his first three years in University of San Francisco before transferring to Cal State Fullerton.
Williams will make his debut on Saturday, January 6 when the Heat host the Formosa Dreamers.
Blistering Mikey Williams takes home Heritage Import of the Week honor
The resurgent Saigon Heat have been the thorn to topflight clubs teams Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Club and Nanhai Kung Fu, handing both squads their first losses in the eighth season of the ASEAN Basketball League. The Heat would not have done it without Filipino-American import Mikey Williams.
Williams, a 6-foot-2 guard out of Cal State Fullerton, dropped 39 points on 14-for-25 shooting to go along with seven rebounds and nine assists in Saigon’s 121-115 overtime win over Hong Kong.
The former NBA G-Leaguer followed it up with a sensational 24-point, five-rebound, and seven-assist outing in their 96-93 win over Kung Fu.
Overall, the 26-year-old guard averaged 31.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 8.0 assists, and 1.0 steals to edge out fellow Filipino AJ Mandani of the Singapore Slingers for the weekly award.
For the Local Player of the Week, two Alab Pilipinas stalwarts were the runners-up for the crown.
Reigning local Most Valuable Player Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. and his floor general Josh Urbiztondo had stellar weeks that earned them honorable mentions.
Urbiztondo, on the other hand, had norms of 14.5 points on a hot 9-for-17 clip from downtown.
Ray Parks, Josh Urbiztondo torch Mono, lead Alab to bounce back win
Coming off a frustrating home loss to the Singapore Slingers last Wednesday, skipper Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. and Tanduay Alab Pilipinas vented their ire with a huge statement win at the expense of the streaking Mono Vampire Basketball Club, 114-87, Sunday evening at Stadium 29 in Bangkok, Thailand.
The win lifted Alab’s slate to an even 4-4, a full game behind the fourth-running Saigon Heat. Moreover, Alab was able to snap Mono’s three game winning streak.
After scoring 16 points in their 80-90 loss to the Slingers, Parks, Jr. was able to follow it up with a sensational 19 point outing. The reigning Local Most Valuable Player added seven rebounds, six assists, and a block to his statline.
The second generation cager provided the spark in the opening frame, scoring 10 points in the opening frame to give the road team a strong start.
Josh Urbiztondo followed it up in the second frame, dropping nine points in the second quarter. He finished the game with 17 markers, spiked by five triples.
Alab never looked back, leading by as much as 33 points, 104-71, after a Justin Brownlee bucket with 6:58 left.
Brownlee flirted with a triple-double, tallying a game-high 29 points to go along with eight rebounds and nine assists. Fellow World Import Renaldo Balkman had an efficent outing with 14 points on 7-for-11 shooting, seven rebounds, and five assists in just 23 minutes of game time.
As a team, Alab knocked down 14 triples with the troika of Parks, Urbiztondo, and Brownlee combining for 11.
Filipino export Paul Zamar paced Mono with 20 points on 6-for-11 shooting. The same could not be said for Filipino-American Jason Brickman, as he played his worst outing so far, ending the game with just seven points and a personal-low of three assists.
Former Mighty Sports-Philippines player Mike Singletary had 24 points on 22 attempts and 11 rebounds.
Alab will visit Indonesia for the first time this season on Saturday, January 20, to take on the CLS Knights.
Tanduay Alab 114 — Brownlee 29, Parks 19, Urbiztondo 17, Balkman 14, Raymundo 10, Maierhofer 7, Javelona 6, Alabanza 4, Domingo 4, Celiz 2, Hontiveros 2, Sumalinog 0.
Mono 87 — Singletary 24, Zamar 20, Deguara 17, Brickman 7, Boonyai 5, Ananti 4, Chanthachon 3, Apiromvilaichai 2, Khukhandhin 2, Phuangla 2, Samerjai 1, Kruatiwa 0.
Quarterscores: 32-22, 54-37, 88-62, 114-87.
Joshua Munzon picks up first win since returning to Westsports
It took three games before Joshua Munzon picked up his first win in his second stint with the Westsports Malaysia Dragons
The Dragons snapped their four-game losing streak after hammering the struggling Formosa Dreamers, 84-74, Sunday afternoon at the MABA Stadium in Malaysia.
Munzon, who returned to Westsports Malaysia last January 3, finished with 17 points, six rebounds, and four assists. Moreover, the title-holder for most steals in a season was able to force five turnovers in the contest in 37 minutes of action.
The 22-year-old averaged 26.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists prior to this game.
As he struggled from the field in the final frame, the versatile Filipino-American forward did the little things to help Westsports pull away late.
A three-pointer Marcus Marshall with 7:19 left proved to be the go-ahead bucket for Westsports. The Dragons led by as much as 10 points, 69-59, in the contest.
Behind Lenny Williams and the debuting Ronnie Aguilar, Formosa was able to slice the lead to as low as three points, 75-71, with 1:07 remaining. Free throws by AJ West and Marshall in the end game however held off the Dreamers.
With the win, Westsports raised their slate to 2-4. Formosa dropped to 1-7.
Mikey Williams outduels Mikh McKinney as Saigon ends another streak
It looks like there’s a new powerhouse on the rise
Ever since they tapped Filipino-American Mikey Williams, the Saigon Heat ended two undefeated runs in the ASEAN Basketball League. After the Heat ended Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Club’s unbeaten run, they took down Chongson Kung Fu Basketball Club, 96-93, Saturday night at home in CIS Arena in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Their win over Kung Fu serves as a perfect follow-up to their impressive showing against another previously-unbeaten team in Hong Kong Eastern, 121-115, last Tuesday at the Southorn Stadium in Wanchai City.
The foreign reinforcements continue to deliver the goods for the now-4-2 Saigon.
Williams had 24 points, five boards, and seven dimes, while World Import Maxie Esho top-billed with 35 points and 12 rebounds.
The neophyte Chinese ball club had actually been on the cusp of maintaining their win-loss slate intact after World Import Anthony Tucker swished in a three-pointer to put his team up, 93-92, with just 21 seconds remaining.
But Saigon displayed more will and did not show any sign of crumbling. Moses Morgan hit a jumper with 18 ticks left, and Akeem Scott scored off a lay-up moments later to put the Heat up three with 14 seconds left to play.
Kung Fu tried to save their immaculate record, but Fil-Am cager Mikh McKinney’s shot missed and sealed the deal for Saigon.
Scott finished with 16 points for the storied Vietnamese ball club, who had another impressive offensive night, as they made 52 percent of their shots from the floor. David Viet Arnold supplied 11 markers and six caroms.
Fil-Am Caelan Tiongson led Chongson with 23 points on 58 percent shooting and seven rebounds in a losing effort. Tucker and Justin Howard finished with 22 points each and combined for 24 of the team’s 40 boards.
McKinney rounded up Kung Fu’s scoring leaders with 20 markers on 15 shots.
Chongson dropped to 4-1.