The ABL may be the first professional basketball league in Southeast Asia, but the inaugural season of the ABL has definitely exposed multiple inadequancies of the league as being professional. A good sports league may be a region’s pride, but if it is badly done, it is to the region’s shame.
As a member of ASEAN, I can’t help but comment that it is a utter shame if its basketball league serves to bring up the flaws of the region rather than boost the popularity of the region instead. The league deserves appraisal if it has done well. Though it is certainly true that the league has done well in certain aspects, nevertheless, this league has failed terribly in many as well.
Here, I bring to light one of the aspects I think the ABL needs to correct if it wants to survive as a respectable basketball league in the region:
As if corruption in this region is not already known to the rest of the world, why bring corruption to this league as well?
Last month, this blog has posted actual news about how the Thailand Tigers’ players have not been paid by their team. We were notified last month that the CEO of ABL, Mr Kuhar, would be visiting Thailand on Tuesday, 16 February 2010, to rectify the matter and investigate on what had went wrong for all parties involved. But what has been done so far since then?
Here is a recent quote from the Thailand Tigers’ head coach:
It is not only these two players (Darongpan and Darunpong) that have not been paid. The American imports, the Filipino imports as well as the American coach have not been paid too. Before the end of the season there was discussion of us not completing the season but the owner personally guaranteed us our salaries. As soon as the season ended he changed his tune and informed us that he had no intention to fulfill our contracts. The ABL has done nothing in our behalf to assist us in getting our money even though they are aware of the situation. We are the only team in the entire league where the players have not been paid. Please help us in getting our salaries by bringing attention to this situation. it is not fair!!
If what he says is true, I share similar sentiments as him that it is NOT FAIR. I’m bringing out this situation as a favour for the Thailand Tigers team who has been unjustly treated.
Of course, this relates to only one team, but it is a team belonging to the ABL. So far, what has the league done so far to correct the matter? This matter certainly is dead serious. This involves the league reputation. But why no clarification till now? If what the Thailand Tigers players and coach said is not true, shouldn’t the league be stepping up and clarifying the issue, and ruling it out as false, so as not to tarnish the league’s reputation?
Otherwise, I sincerely hope that the new teams and players wouldn’t walk into the trap of joining this league (I’m saying this for the players good).
Imagine an American import flying down from America, playing for almost 5 months, and NOT getting paid as he should! This is totally unjustified!
No one should be playing for a league like this.
Basketball players, if you are considering signing with the ABL, please reconsider your decision carefully, knowing that this is happening.
Dear ABL, if you would care even a bit about your reputation, please, for God’s sake, do something about it! Speak up! Clarify the matter! If you are not concerned about the league’s reputation, at least, I urge that the league not bring further shame to the region in telling the rest of the world that corruption is accepted in a “professional” basketball league in Southeast Asia.