KUALA LUMPUR: The Asean Basketball League (ABL) is set to welcome a team from Indonesia once again for the upcoming eighth season.
The CLS Knights Surabaya, the Indonesia Basketball League (IBL) champions in 2016, announced that they would be competing in the ABL on Friday.
The ABL is expected to tip-off in November.
The Knights, led by 38-year-old point guard Mario Wuysang, are a popular team in Indonesia. But they are at odds with the IBL and subsequently withdrew to join the ABL.
“We had an offer to join the ABL or to merge with another league from a neighbouring South-East Asian country,” said Knights team owner Christian Tanuwidjaja in a video interview on YouTube.
“We decided to choose the ABL because it will allow our players to develop their skills while also playing on home ground.”
The Knights’ decision to join the ABL is certainly a huge boost considering Indonesia’s absence since 2014.
Then, two Indonesian teams – Indonesia Warriors and Laskar Dreyar South Sumatra – competed but failed to make the playoffs.
The Knights will be the second new team to join the ABL.
The Formosa Dreamers, a new team from Taiwan, announced their participation last month. They will replace the Kaohsiung Truth who pulled out due to financial constraints.
Champions Hong Kong Easter Long Lions will be back to defend their title. They are joined by the Westports Malaysia Dragons, Singapore Slingers, Saigon Heat of Vietnam and the Alab Pilipinas of the Philippines.