BIGGER things await San Miguel Alab Pilipinas for its third season in the Asean Basketball League (ABL).
Alab team owner Charlie Dy said the newly crowned ABL champions have been invited to join several tournaments during the offseason, among them the Merlion Cup in Singapore and tournaments in Macau and Dubai.
“Maraming tumatawag kay (Alab coach) Jimmy (Alapag) for international invitational cups. I think we are looking at joining the Merlion Cup,” said Dy.
Dy said the tournaments will make up Alab's preparation for its title defense in the ABL, where the Philippine side won a maiden crown by beating Mono Vampire of Thailand in a five-game finale that went the full route.
“I’ll sit down with coach Al (Chua, San Miguel sports director). We have to figure out what’s the best route for the team kung ano preparation namin for next season,” said Dy.
Dy said SMDC of the SM Group, one of Alab’s sponsors in the just-concluded season, has also committed to bring more of the team's games to the Mall of Asia Arena.
Last season, Alab played its opening game at Mall of Asia Arena against the Hong Kong Eastern, but Dy said the team could be playing in more games in the state-of-the-art venue.
“(SM head Hans Sy) promised to help us next year. Mga big games, magmo-MOA tayo,” said Dy.
Dy said the team is committed to put up a strong team for its title defense, even if most players in its core are being recruited by PBA teams and those in smaller leagues.
On Tuesday, one of Alab’s key players, Pao Javelona, was signed up by GlobalPort.
“May mga kumukuha na nga. They’ve been calling me. Sabi ko, tapusin muna ‘yung season,” said Dy.