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ABL Fil-Ams boost PBA bids

Fil-foreigners Jason Brickman, Matthew Wright and Kris Rosales may have boosted their chances of making the PBA following their impressive performances in the just-concluded ASEAN Basketball League Finals won by the Westports Malaysia Dragons.

Brickman was named Finals MVP after posting 22 points, seven rebounds and the seven assists in Malaysia’s title-clinching 77-65 victory over the Singapore Slingers in Kuala Lumpur while Wright was one of the most productive performers of Filipino coach Ariel Vanguardia, particularly on offense.

Rosales finally exploded on offense for Singapore in Game 5, finishing with 22 points. However, the second round draft choice of Barako Bull in last year’s PBA draft had little support from his American and local teammates as the Slingers were beaten soundly on the road.

Brickman and Wright, the league’s ASEAN Heritage MVP, may have validated their status as future PBA stars thanks to their stint with Malaysia. The two have expressed their intentions to turn pro although it is now a question of when.

Wright is also being groomed to join at the very least the Gilas cadet program although no one from the national team have publicly expressed their interest on including the Fil-Canadian shooter.

As for Rosales, his performance in the series has put several PBA teams on notice.

In fact, Phoenix coach Koy Banal, who drafted Rosales last year, came to the Malaysian capital to check his progress. A week earlier, Tropang TNT coach Jong Uichico quietly slipped into Singapore to watch him play.

“Very, very interested,” said Banal after Game 5 as quoted by Spin.ph. “He is a great court general and he has great skills sa dribble penetration.”