16.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.3 steals. These are the numbers Leo Avenido put up last season when playing for the Barracudas. The Slingers’ newest import modestly said in an interview “I have a lot of room for improvement” – with those numbers he averaged. If there is any NBA player Leo would be compared to, it would be Jason Kidd, in his prime. Like Kidd, Leo is a slightly bigger point guard (in ABL terms). He doesn’t hog that ball, but play excellent team basketball. He rebounds well, for his height and size. And he plays good defense. Surprisingly, Leo also has an inside game, scoring mostly on drives to the basket like Kidd in his younger days.
We manage to catch Leo Avenido for an interview. So without further ado, let’s introduce the man himself to the Slingers fans.
Slingerblogger: How many years have you been playing basketball?
Leo: I have been playing since my highschool days.
Slingerblogger: Any nicknames you were given as basketball player?
Leo: They call me Iceman.
Slingerblogger: How did you recruited by the Slingers? When was the decision made?
Leo: The Slingers sent me an email and my agent talked to me about that. So I decided to play for the Slingers.
Slingerblogger: What’s your impression of the Slingers team so far? And how is this team different from the Barracudas which you played for last season?
Leo: This team is defintely more mature compared to the Barracudas. The Barracudas team last year wasn’t quite developed yet.
Slingerblogger: You were arguably the best ASEAN import last season, especially the impressive numbers you put up on rebounds (6.7 rpg). Tell us how did you do it at the height of only 188cm?
Leo: Well, it’s all about timing and positioning. Of course, you have to get in shape.
Slingerblogger: What are your biggest strengths as a basketball player?
Leo: It would be my heart and my experience.
Slingerblogger: How about areas for improvement?
Leo: I have a lot of room for improvement.
Slingerblogger: How do you think you can contribute to this Slingers team?
Leo: As I have said earlier, I’ll contribute with my experience and I’ll play with heart.
Slingerblogger: So how has it been in Singapore so far?
Leo: Nothing much so far, cuz I’m focusing first on our task to win the championship for Singapore. I’m not promising anything, but I’ll just do all of my best for this team and to Singapore.
Indeed, Leo is a man with a lion’s heart. Slingers fans can sure expect to deliver during the season. Be sure to catch Leo and the Slingers play their first exhibition game against Rain and Shine of the PBA this sunday on 5 Sept at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.