Bangkok Basketball Holdings officially announced their participation in the region's premier inter-national basketball league yesterday at the Golden Tulip Sovereign Hotel in Bangkok.
They are the second new team to join the family after the inclusion of San Miguel of the Philippines last month.
With Bangkok Basketball joining the ABL, the league will now have two Thailand-based teams, the other being the defending champions Thailand Slammers.
They will be competing among the region's best in the third season of the ABL which is slated to tip off on January 14.
"We feel that the ABL is positioned to be a force in the sports community, not just in Asean but throughout Asia. Bangkok Basketball plans to be part of that growth. We are excited to be a part of basketball's growth in South East Asia," said Tom Griffin, one of the owners of Bangkok Basketball Holdings in a press release yesterday.
Chief Executive Officer of the ABL Kuhan Foo believes that the addition of the new teams from Thailand is definitely a plus for the league.
"Bangkok Basketball Holdings is a welcome addition to the ABL. This reinforces the growth of the ABL in the past two seasons," said Foo.
"With them onboard it also shows that the basketball playing talent in the region is now increasing and with the inclusion of the new teams and with our foundation members now throwing out a larger net to seek talented players, it is going to be a bright future for basketball in the Asean region," he added.
The news of the league's latest addition was hailed by the team owners alike.
"It's great that there are two new teams joining the league. It is a big step forward for the expansion of the ABL and basketball in Southeast Asia as a growing sport," said Ruben Gnanalingam, the team owner of the KL Dragons.
"I am very sure that this is just the beginning and there will be more teams from other countries as well in time to come," he added.
"The KL dragons would like to extend a warm welcome to the new ownership group in Bangkok on being part of the league. I am sure the level of competition is going to be higher in the league as we've seen how strong basketball in Thailand has become," continued Ruben.
General Manager of the Singapore Slingers Michael Johnson mirrored the sentiments as well.
"The announcement of the Bangkok Basketball Holdings joining San Miguel as confirmed new teams for the 2012 ABL season is another huge boost to the league," said Johnson.
"Thailand will now have its own local rivalry with them joining the current ABL champion Thailand Slammers in the league.
"Fans of the ABL can look forward to a bigger and better ABL season starting January 2012," he added.
The team owner of the Philippine Patriots Dr Mike Romero also gave two thumbs up to the ABL for doing a great job.
"I salute the whole ABL organisation for another prized team recruit. The ABL is truly becoming the biggest premier basketball league in the whole Asean region," said Romero.
"ABL is truly growing in leaps and bounds. The excitement between teams and countries is likewise growing. The ABL is truly the future of Asean basketball," he added.
Bangkok Basketball is currently interviewing potential coaches who have had a professional playing career with coaching success.
They consider this choice to be paramount to the success of the organisation and is weighing all available options.
The selection of players will then be made with the collaboration between the management and the selected head coach.
Other teams also participating in the league include Brunei Barracudas and Indonesia's SatriaMuda BritAma.The Brunei Times