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    Report: ABL co-owner says league has no plans of shutting down

    Jul 11, 2020

    IF a minority owner is to be believed, the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) has no plans of shutting down.

    Connor Nguyen, also general manager for the Saigon Heat, said that the regional league's future is secure despite the effects brought upon by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

    "There is no plan of shutting down the ABL," he said in a report of ESPN5.

    Spin.ph ran a story on Thursday, citing multiple insiders of the cost-cutting measures done by the ABL.

    Nguyen, however, said that these financial cuts are only normal, as the case with any other companies amid the health crisis.

    The Vietnamese executive even said that the ABL is "financially stable."

    "The situation with ABL is not much different than it has been for the last five years. We did have to take measures HR-wise to be financially responsible, but those measures have already been taken," he said.

    "When it became clear that the COVID-19 situation was quite serious and we wouldn't be able to resume the league for quite some time, there just wasn't work to be done. We chose to lay off the team as we have to be cost-conscious until we can safely restart the ABL. I think we practically are still at least a few months from ramping things back up again."

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    The ABL has also not issued an official statement on the matter.

    Also tight-lipped are co-founders Tony Fernandes and Erick Thohir, as well as fellow stakeholders in Westports Malaysia Dragons team owner Ruben Gnanalingam, Singapore Slingers COO Wee Siew Kim, and Saigon Heat team owner Henry Nguyen.

    The 10-year-old regional league was forced to shelve its current season due to the pandemic, a time which also saw the contracts for the operations staff, including that of ABL chief executive officer Jericho Ilagan, elapse on May 30.

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