Formosa Taishin Dreamers to join ABL if games resume next year

12/07/2021 10:15 PM
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Formosa Taishin Dreamers
Formosa Taishin Dreamers' Yang Sheng-yen is pictured in a game in January. CNA file photo

Taipei, Dec. 7 (CNA) The Formosa Taishin Dreamers will join the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL), if it resumes next year, taking part in both the Taiwanese domestic professional P. LEAGUE+ and the regional league, a top Dreamers official told CNA Tuesday.

Jonathan Han (韓駿鎧), the club's general manager, said on the sidelines of a media luncheon in Taipei that his club will take part in both leagues but is currently uncertain how to plan the rosters because the ABL has yet to announce its schedule for the new season.

"At the moment, internal discussions have determined that we will take part in both leagues," Han said.

Formosa Taishin Dreamers General Manager Jonathan Han. Photo courtesy of the Formosa Taishin Dreamers
Formosa Taishin Dreamers General Manager Jonathan Han. Photo courtesy of the Formosa Taishin Dreamers

However, Han added that he personally thinks the COVID-19 pandemic is still creating uncertainty for the ABL and it is still too early to know if it will resume next year.

The ABL called off its 10th season last year, which included two Taiwanese teams -- the Dreamers and the Taipei Fubon Braves -- as the pandemic continued to disrupt sports events in East and Southeast Asia.

In a year that was supposed to mark a decade of the ABL, the league concluded the season on July 15, 2020 without a winner.

"The ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) Board have met and announces today that the ABL Season 2019/20 will be deemed concluded as there is no safe way to compete the remaining fixtures," the ABL said in a statement issued on July 15, 2020.

The ABL generated headlines in Indonesian last month following the announcement of the inclusion of the country's Surabaya-based basketball team Louvre.

It was also announced on the ABL's Facebook page on Dec. 2 "The latest team in town. #comingin2022," hinting to fans that the league will resume next year.

Also adding to the busy schedule next year is the upcoming inaugural season of the East Asia Super League (EASL), which includes the P. LEAGUE+ champions, along with the winners and runners-up in Japan's B.LEAGUE, South Korea's KBL, the Philippines' PBA, and the EASL's Bay Area Chun Yu Phoenixes from Hong Kong.

If the Dreamers win the championship of the six-team P. LEAGUE+ they compete in the pan-regional tournament with two groups of four teams playing home and away games, from October 2022 to February 2023.

The top two teams in each group will then play in a single elimination semifinal round in March 2023, and the EASL championship game will be held later that month.

"Of course, our biggest goal is to compete in EASL, but competition in the P. LEAGUE+ is very fierce, so it's hard to say at this point," Han said.

When asked if the Dreamers will consider re-enlisting former center William Artino into its ranks, especially when he is currently in the country, Han said that is unlikely.

"This year we will most likely not enlist Artino because we already have a system in place," Han said. "Earlier in the year, we didn't have plans to recruit Artino because we didn't know when he will be able to come to Taiwan to participate in our practices."

The Dreamers will stick with its current roster for the time being, Han added.

Established in 2017, the Dreamers competed in the ABL through to 2020 before joining the P. LEAGUE+ that year.

(By William Yen)

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