ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) seeks to return to action in 2021 embracing a new tournament structure with a “circuit format" where teams will play in a number of week-long matches hosted by different participating nations.

/ 4 December 2020

The league planned a vastly different ABL setup on its restart from the game structure to a scoring system where teams in these said circuits will be awarded points for each game, with the accumulated points deciding who the top squads will be.

The highest-pointer teams will then proceed to the Finals Tournament, where the ABL championship will be disputed.

ABL’s format is a deviation from the traditional win-loss standings and closely resembles the formats used in professional 3×3 leagues which award points per leg.

The league was forced to shelve its 2019-20 season in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, causing a sudden end to the regional league’s 10th season.

Meanwhile, the San Miguel Alab Pilipinas, the Philippines’ representative in the ABL, was seeking to redeem its crown behind locals Jason Brickman, Jeremiah Gray, and Lawrence Domingo, as well as the arrivals of Justin Brownlee and John Fields as its new reinforcements.

Those hopes, however, were crushed as the league completely decided to cancel the league in July.

Evaluating its options on how to move forward, the league has restructured its operations and management of the league, naming Connor Nguyen as its interim chief executive officer.

Moreover, Nguyen, who is also the president of Saigon Heat and the chairman of XLE Group in Vietnam, will lead the ABL’s hopeful commencement granting the improving health situation for all the participating countries, as well as the easing of border restrictions.

“Our management has been in constant communication with the ABL teams to explore the possibilities of restarting the games in 2021,” said Nguyen.

“At present, our most difficult challenge to date would be travel restrictions and quarantine requirements by each individual country. It is still too early to firm our plans with the uncertainty still going around. However, I hope to find a viable solution so that we can continue to operate and provide a competitive platform for our athletes while maintaining the entertainment quality for our fans.”