Finally there is a decent quality local basketball scene with the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL), it currently contains 6 teams from the ASEAN region with perhaps more being added next year.
The current teams are:
- Philippine Patriots
- Satria Muda BritAma (Indonesia)
- Singapore Slingers
- KL Dragons
- Brunei Barracudas
- Thailand Tigers
I used to play basketball quite actively and represented both my secondary school and college teams until I sustained a serious knee injury playing and well that was the end of that.
So being a fan and hearing good things about the KL Dragons a group of us headed over to the MABA stadium in KL this past weekend to catch the second leg of a battle between the Philippine Patriots and the KL Dragons (KY watched the first leg in the Philippines). The stadium is the home of The Malaysian Basketball Association (MABA) and located near the Pudu area of KL.
It was jammed like crazy and raining so we reached there a little late, but managed to get inside whilst the players were still warming up.
Shortly after that it was time to get serious and the coach gathered the players for some strategy talks.
Then some entertainment and of course the national anthem of the home team. I was slightly surprised, but very glad to see the 3000 capacity stadium was almost full to the brim! The turn-out and atmosphere was really electric. The KL Dragons certainly do have a strong following and I hope in the future seasons they will have even more.
As the game kicked off you can see the fully packed crowd behind the court.
Basketball by its very nature is a very exciting game to watch as it’s extremely fast and end to end, it’s high scoring and fairly physical with some very fancy moves like slam dunks and spins to add to the excitement.
It was a great start with the home team taking a fast lead of 12-7 before the first quarter was over.
Unfortunately the star scorer for KL Dragons (Chris Kuete) got ejected due to some on-court scuffle
Being a more physical game than usual, there were a LOT of free-throws.
With Jason Lamar Dixon being the star, I’d estimate his free-throw hit rate to be over 90%. Our Dragons of course popped in plenty too!
The game was pretty intense with some incredible skills being shown by KL Dragons players Rudy Lingganay & Roel Hugnatan.
The Patriots were fighting hard too of course, but KL Dragons maintained their lead through-out the the game. It did get VERY close a couple of times with the Patriots coming within 2 points and for quite a while then drawing even for a short time. The KL Dragons supporters were pumping the crowd up though with chants of “Defense! Defense!”.
It was an intense game and a fantastic experience, even if you aren’t really a basketball or sports fan at all – I suggest you go check it out!
Extremely entertaining to watch!
In the end the KL Dragons won a convincing victory over the Philippine Patriots with a score of 77-59.
I grabbed a quick pic with the KL Dragons star player, the only guy in KL who doesn’t make me feel tall 🙂
If you want to support them at the upcoming games you can find the full schedule here.
The full set of pics is on Flickr here:
Or some pro pics on Shutter Asia here: