The Philippines' Departure Leaves ABL With Seven Teams For '13 Season
The fourth season of the Asean Basketball League will tip off on Jan. 11, now down to seven teams and a slight change in format, according to Kng Zheng Guan of THE STAR. The AirAsia Philippines Patriots, which were the '10 champions, have dropped from the league, "as they are turning their attention to the Philippines Basketball Association conference and so not have the resources to compete on two fronts simultaneously." The league stills consists of defending champions Indonesia Warriors, the San Miguel Beermen, Saigon Heat, Bangkok Cobras, Chang Thailand Slammers, Jobstreet.com Singapore Slingers and the Westports Malaysia Dragons. The teams will play each other four times during the regular season, two home and two away, with the top four entering the playoffs. The semifinals and final "will also change to a best-of-five series, from the previous best-of-three" (THE STAR, 11/26).