THE SAN Miguel Beermen begin their campaign in the fourth season of the Asean Basketball League on the road by taking on defending champion Indonesia Warriors in a rematch of last year’s Finals.
The two powerhouse teams collide on January 11 at the Mahaka Square in Jakarta.
The league announced the schedule in a press statement issued Friday.
Noli Eala, sports director of the San Miguel Corporation, is looking forward of bouncing back for the coming season after losing the championship to the Warriors despite being the top seeded team in the tournament.
“It was a fantastic 2012 season for the Beermen. We came in strong, finished on top of the regular season, and narrowly missed out on winning the championship in our maiden year,” said Eala in a statement.
The Beermen signed up former PBA cager Asi Taulava to beef up the team in hopes of nailing a first ever ABL crown.
“We’ve had a busy off-season to prepare for 2013 however, and will be back stronger and more determined than ever. We are especially looking forward to big things for the ABL this season,” he added.
After the opener, the Westports Malaysia Dragons face the Saigon Heat the following day (January 12). The Dragons are coached by Ariel Vanguardia, while ex-Ateneo guard and PBA player Jai Reyes have signed up with the Vietnam-based squad.
The Jobstreet.com Singapore Slingers take on the Chang Thailand Slammers on January 13.
Teams will play each other four times, with the top four teams entering the playoffs. The semifinals and the finals will now be a best-of-five series.
“The ABL has made tremendous strides over the last three seasons,” said league co-founder Tony Fernandes in a statement. “Watching the league grow and seeing the passion and love for the sport has been rewarding. I anxiously anticipate this coming season. It has a chance to be better than every other before it.”
ABL chief executive officer Anthony Macri is looking forward to the fourth season of the league.
“These teams are committed to the long term growth of our league, and we are happy to have them serve as the foundation for future success,” said Macri. “We are more excited now than ever about the product we are putting on the floor, and the kind of in-game event experience each of our teams will provide for our fans.”