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ABL 2017-2017 Season Preview: Nanhai Kung Fu Basketball Club

The group behind Nanhai Kung Fu have made no efforts to hide that the team is a developmental tool for the Guangzhou Long Lions. But make no mistake- this is a team with the talent and personnel to make a deep run in their maiden voyage in the ASEAN Basketball League.

Comprised of several up-and-coming local talents with experience playing in the tough Chinese Basketball Association, along with a dominant World Import, Nanhai Kung Fu is ready to wreak havoc in the ABL.

It begins with the shocking arrival of reigning ABL Defensive Player of the Year Justin Howard, who has carved a legacy in the league with his seasons playing for the Singapore Slingers. With averages of 24.5 points, 18.3 rebounds and 1.79 blocks at the ripe age of 36 years old, Howard brings to the young team a wealth of experience and the knowledge of what it will take to succeed in the ABL.

Howard is a bruising big man who uses every inch of his 6’11″ frame to get off shots against double teams and even triple teams at time, and has the defensive IQ to also challenge smaller opponents who penetrate in the paint. He will be relied upon by Nanhai to help stabilize the offense and provide a scoring punch.

Flanking Howard is fellow World Import Anthony Tucker, a 28-year -old guard who played for the Guangzhou Long Lions in a pocket tournament in Malaysia earlier in the off seasons. General Manager, Lukas Peng, wouldn’t give away much about Tucker, stating “I won’t help other teams scout our own players, but they will find out for themselves pretty quickly of what type of player Anthony is”. Tucker and Howard will be Nanhai’s one two punch, and a good matchup for Hong Kong Eastern’s combo of Marcus Elliott and Christian Standhardinger.

Beyond the World Imports are a lot of young players that will look to the ABL to strengthen their experience playing against tough competition. Zhang Xiaolei, Luo Yongxuan, Guo Kai, Wang Yue, and Shi Jun, all former Guangzhou Long Lions will fill up the roster. Most notable name might be Guo Kai who was a No.1 Draft pick in the Chinese Basketball Association Draft. According to Peng, even though Guo’s still a young player, he has played at the highest level in China in Highschool (Qinghua Fuzhong) and also in College (Peking University). Both are by far the best teams in the country at their level and Guo was the MVP for both teams.

6’4 Filipino-American Caelan Tiongson from Biola University is another intriguing prospect, as was covered previously here. With a “Draymond Green” skillset according to his teammates, Tiongson will be counted on to provide a little bit everything for his squad, including defending, scoring and ballhandling.

Joining Tiongson as Heritage Import is Filipino-American Jonathan Bermillo who played for Bishop’s University in Canada. Bermillo is primed to be a guard who can control the pace of the game and will make the right play at most times. He will be a different type of player than what Nanhai already has which bring balance to the team.

Nanhai has been searching for a team to call their own for a long time. Nanhai Kung Fu should definitely scratch that itch. Expect the Nanhai Gymnasium to be rocking when they make their debut against Howard’s old team the Singapore Slingers on November 17.

Source: http://aseanbasketballleague.com/abl-2017-2017-season-preview-nanhai-kung-fu-basketball-club/

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