SAN Miguel Alab Pilipinas has high hopes for its new batch of Fil-foreign players coming in for the new season of the Asean Basketball League.
Alab has added several new faces to its lineup led by former Chong Son Kung Fu cager Caelan Tiongson. The defending champions have also brought in young blood in Ethan Alvano and Brandon Rosser.
“Really happy with the new guys,” said Alab coach Jimmy Alapag. “They give us a lot more versatitliy compared to last season. I’m excited to get out there (for the start of out season on) December 9.”
Tiongson played last season with the Kung Fu where the Fil-American from Biola University averaged 11.7 points and 8.2 rebounds.
The 6-foot-7 Rosser, brother of San Miguel cager Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, played for NCAA Division I side University of California-Riverside last year while Albano suited up for California State-San Marcos, an NCAA Division II school.
Alvano, 22 and listed at 6-1, has drawn comparisons with Alab star and two-time ABL MVP Bobby Ray Parks.
“Brandon Rosser is athletic. He is long. Coming in practice, natsa-challenge si Balkman,” Parks said of the rookie.
“He is a lefty,” said Parks, referring to Alvano. “He has been comparable to me pa nga daw with the way he plays pero I know he is young and hopefully, throughout the season, he will grow. He is definitely talented.”
Alapag said Alab is definitely younger, quicker and more athletic this season, but added the team will be missing the experience brought by former PBA mainstays like Dondon Hontiveros and Rico Maierhofer.
“We are definitely bigger this season. In terms of athleticism and speed, that’s what our new guys bring to the table. They are young. But the one biggest thing that stands out in comparison to last year is the experience," the Alab coach said.
“Last year, we have Dondon, Rico, those guys have lot to do with just having PBA experience and not just experience, championship experience. So that hurts us losing them. But again, you bring that youthful energy. Ethan is only 22. They are great young players and we are excited to have them,” he added.