MANILA – The Asean Basketball League (ABL) will halt its operations yet again.
The ABL "is unlikely to play for the foreseeable future" due to FIBA, the world's basketball governing body, telling the league that they "do not fit into FIBA's plans for basketball in the region," the Singapore Slingers revealed on their Facebook account on Monday.
“It is with a heavy heart and great disappointment that the Singapore Slingers ownership announced that the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) is unlikely to play for the foreseeable future,” the club said.
“The ABL was informed by FIBA that the league does not fit into FIBA's plans for basketball in the region. FIBA will be selective of which leagues it would support and allow moving forward,” they explained.
“FIBA's clear instructions to the regional basketball federations essentially denied the ABL a viable future.”
The ABL itself has yet to make a formal announcement on its future.
The Southeast Asian league, which was founded in 2009, has been home to the Slingers, Philippine-based squads Alab Pilipinas, San Miguel Beermen, Philippine Patriots, Zamboanga Valientes, and many other regional clubs.
The league canceled its 2019-2020 season and had only returned early this year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Just as they are regaining steam after successfully holding the 2023 Invitational Cup, the ABL will bid goodbye yet again.
“The ABL has spent the past 2 years trying to find a compromise with FIBA without success,” the Slingers said.
Meanwhile, the Slingers, who are among the six original squads of the league since its inception, will now be looking to continue their plans through other ventures.
“The Singapore Slingers, who have been a cornerstone of professional basketball in Singapore over the past 17 years, will explore how it can continue to be a development platform for our top Singapore basketball players through the active involvement of SportSG,” the team said.
“The Singapore Slingers ownership and management would like to thank all our season ticket members and fans for their support over the past 17 years.”