Gabe Freeman, the ABL’s Gerald Wallace

When the Philippines Patriots decided to replace Brandon Powell with Gabe Freeman, they probably knew this upgrade would give them what they needed to win a championship in the ABL. On Game 1 of the ABL finals, the Philippines Patriots saw the rewards of that strategic upgrade. Gabe Freeman poured in 39 points (which is more than half of his team’s points) and grabbed 9 rebounds as the Patriots took Game 1 of the finals.

If there is any player that Gabriel Freeman is playing like, it would Gerald Wallace of the Charlotte Bobcats. As Gerald Wallace or G-Force was reluctantly being present at the NBA All-star game at Dallas, Freeman was giving Satria Muda headaches on both sides of the court at the ABL Finals while the Patriots locals were almost non-existent in the game. At 6’6, Freeman is only 1 inch shorter than G-Force and has almost an identical skill set as the Bobcats Star Forward – An Explosive drive, A strong finish, Intensity, Hardwork, Hustle Rebounding , Hustle Points, Helpside Defense, Streaky Shooting, An Inside Game.

Coming straight from the PBA as an import, Gabe Freeman may not necessarily be the best import in the Asean Basketball League (ABL). Satria Muda BritAma boasts Nakiea Miller, who was an ex-Sacramento Kings player, the Slingers has Kyle Jeffers who played in the Euroleague, the Barracudas has Reggie Larry, who was playing in the NBDL just last year before sustaining an injury. However, none of them (apart from Nakiea Miller, arguably) is as productive as Freeman in the ABL, in terms of numbers and efficiency. Here’s the reason why I rate Freeman as the most productive import:

Gabe Freeman may not excel as much as the other imports in various categories, but his all-round game certainly is sufficient in helping the Patriots improve in every single category from rebounds to steals to blocks to scoring (something Brandon Powell couldn’t deliver). With Freeman on the court, the Patriots is a more dangerous team on offense and a better team on defense. In addition, Freeman brings with him a game intensity like no other import in the ABL, unlike more mild-mannered, less fired-up players like Michael LeBlanc, Chris Kuete or Chaz Briggs (who are just doing their thing and playing the game). Freeman is explosive. He fires his team up. He destroys deficits. He gives life to his team with his plays. This, I argue, gave the Patriots a comeback win over the KL dragons on Game 2 of the semi-finals. Watch this video and you will know what I mean:

If Satria Muda BritAma really wants a championship, they should really start paying attention to Freeman. Alex Hartman got shut down in Game 1, leaving foul-mouthed thrash-talking Nakiea Miller to carry the entire team’s burden – to no avail. Too bad there weren’t any anti-Miller fans to hype Mr Miller up to play a better game. Instead of thrash-talking and complaining, Mr Miller should follow Freeman’s example, to let actions speak louder than words. A real true leader leads by actions, not words.

Nakiea Miller, you said IF YOU WANT IT, YOU WILL GET IT! Do you want the ABL Championship bad enough for your team?

Before Nakiea Miller becomes the man to get his home crowd and team into the game, I stay with Gabe Freeman as the best and most productive import in the ABL.

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