Barely months after the Southeast Asian Games in August, the Dragons only have a couple of months to piece up a team together in time for the new season of the Asean Basketball League in November.

For head coach Christopher Thomas, that is definitely an uphill task for him to scout for the best man in his team in such a short time. Despite missing the goal for a podium during the last SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, Thomas is looking much confident with his boys on a whole different level this season with nine teams.

Finishing the top of the league and clinching the championship two seasons ago was among the best moments for Westports Malaysia Dragons. Being among the pioneers of the franchise, Dragons have high expectations to achieve.

Although Dragons were short of qualifying for the playoffs last season, they are certainly looking forward to a better performance this year. It will not be an easy task trying to slay Mono Vampire in Bangkok.

With two former Dragons’ cagers; Reginald Johnson and Jason Brickman as their ‘quarterback’, alongside Thai national players such as Chitchai Ananti and Kannut Samerjai, the Malaysian team will be putting up to an exciting matchup this weekend.

We will play a little bit different but my philosophy is my philosophy. We are going to be fast and we are going to be playing with pace and space on the floor.

All my guys have the green light to shoot when they’re open. Getting the right players in the right position at the right time, putting pieces of puzzle together…fit everything where it needs to go,” Thomas said.

Dragons also faced their first hurdle after losing their big man Solomon Jones a week before their first match in Bangkok, down with three import players in the roster: Marcus Marshall, Reil Cervantes and Patrick Jan Cabahug.

We are going to run a lot of different actions this year and I think as a coach, you got to adapt to your roster instead of having the roster adapting to you.

We will try to do a lot of different things with our personnel this year but I will stay true to what I believe in. It will be a melding of last year’s principles and philosophies with a lot of new actions, motions and directions that we are going to take,” Thomas added.

This season will see a good mixture of new and old local guards from Malaysia and the return of veteran players John Ng who will be leading the Dragons as the captain is certainly an interesting lineup alongside sharpshooter Loh Shee Fai.

Two newcomers Heng Yee Tong and Phan Wee Chen will debut their first appearance in ABL this season as the youngest addition to the lineup will be among the favourite locals to watch.

Westports Malaysia Dragons will be playing against Mono Vampire on November 25th in Bangkok at 4.30PM Malaysian time.

By Norman Goh

WESTPORTS MALAYSIA DRAGONS 2017-2018 ROSTER
1. Wong Yi Hou
2. Heng Yee Tong
3. Phan Wee Chen
4. Ting Chun Hong
5. Teo Kok Hou
6. Reil Cervantes
7. Patrick Cabahug
8. Marcus Marshall
9. Ma Chee Kheun
10. Loh Shee Fai
11. John Ng
12. Kuek Tian Yuan
13. Ivan Yeo