Westsports Malaysia KL Dragons Optimistic Of Making ABL 2014 Final

Last update: 23/06/2014

KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 (Bernama) -- Malaysia's professional basketball team, Westsports Malaysia KL Dragons, are optimistic of making it to the 2014 AirAsia Asean Basketball League (ABL) final when the season kicks off on July 16.

Westports Holdings Bhd Chief Executive Officer Ruben Emir Gnanalingam said the optimism was based on the team's performance in the previous four ABL seasons, as the team managed to make it to the last four.

"We are excited for this season after being in the semifinal every year since the competition started. It is not that easy and from that it gave us more benefits and of course to the players. However, we cannot overlook the strength of other teams.

"The team is eager to win the ABL trophy for the first time. And for this coming season, I feel they are ready to face the league as they have prepared well," he told reporters here today.

According to Ruben, the performance of the national players had improved compared with previous years and he have decided to give them more chances to play in the ABL.

"I hope with the improvement shown by local players, we can reduce our dependance on foreign players in the future and give priority to local players.

"We (Westports Holdings Bhd and Westsports Malaysia KL Dragons) have also decided to rope in young local players, whom we can develop for the future and they can replace the retiring seniors," Ruben said.

He added that Westsports Malaysia KL Dragons were still negotiating with three foreign players to replace those who had played last season.

"We haven't signed the contract yet. We already have their names, but it cannot be revealed now because it is still in the negotiation stage. Once we have made the decision and signed it, we will make the announcement," he said.

The AirAsia Asean Basketball League 2014 enters the fifth season this year after its inception in 2009 and will feature six teams including Westsports Malaysia KL Dragons.

Others in the list are HiTech Bangkok City from Thailand, Indonesia Warriors, JobStreet.Com Singapore Slingers, Lskar Dreya South Sumatra from Indonesia and Saigon Heat from Vietnam.