THE Philippine Patriots were noticeably missing from a recent news release by the Asean Basketball League fueling speculations that the inaugural champion of the league might not play in the coming season.
The ABL has revealed the teams that will be participating in the 2013 season and its opening day schedule on January 11 but conspicuously missing were the Patriots, who won the first ABL season in 2010.
The Patriots, owned by businessman Mikee Romero, took the league’s first title by defeating Indonesia-based Satria Muda Britama. They settled for second place the following year, losing the title to the Chang Thailand Slammers.
Last season, the Patriots finished second place after the elimination round but bowed out in the semifinals against eventual champion Indonesia Warriors.
Romero now owns a PBA team, putting up Globalport after acquiring the Powerade franchise this year. The Batang Pier is coached by Glen Capacio, who was the Patriots’ head coach last season.
The ABL is set to open with a rematch of the third season finals between the Indonesia Warriors and the San Miguel Beermen.