TANDUAY-Alab Pilipinas team owner Charlie Dy believes the rejigged Philippine side has what it takes to challenge reigning champion Hong Kong Eastern in the 2016-2017 ABL season.
Dy showed no hint of hesitation during the ABL press conference on Tuesday when asked on which team poses the biggest threat to the defending champion this year.
"I think it's us. Alab Pilipinas," Dy said, drawing cheers from those present.
Dy's confidence is well-placed as Alab Pilipinas has brought together a good mix of young players and veterans in a bid to regain Philippine supremacy in the regional basketball league.
Behind head coach Jimmy Alapag, Alab has brought back reigning MVP Bobby Ray Parks to team up with PBA veterans Dondon Hontiveros, Josh Urbiztondo, and Rico Maierhofer, and imports Ivan Johnson and Reggie Okosa.
"I think we will give Hong Kong a good fight for the title this season," Dy said.
Hong Kong has beefed up its roster by acquiring Fil-German Gilas Pilipinas standout Christian Standhardinger to join Marcus Elliott and Thai-American Tyler Lamb.
Alapag said the team is raring to meet the owner's lofty expectations.
"There are a lot of great teams. We are definitely preparing and doing our best to compete for the championship," said the former PBA MVP.
So far, the rookie ABL coach said he is happy with the progress of the team.
"It's still a long ways to go. Right now, our focus is the preparation kasi we are roughly four to five weeks away from the opener. So far, so good. Hopefully, our second import will be here this week and we will continue with our preparation," said Alapag.
Alab Pilipinas has reached a tie-up with Tanduay for the coming season as well as with SMDC.