October 14 will see the first ever appearance of KL Dragons, Malaysia’s first professional basketball team at the inaugural ASEAN Basketball League (ABL). The stellar cast of basketball players, which is the brainchild of three of Malaysia’s very own young successful entrepreneurs: Mr. Ruben Emir Gnanalingam, Dato’ Wira Dani Daim and Dato’ Robin Tan Yeong Ching, who all share a passion for sports and the expansion of basketball in Malaysia.
Dato' Robin Tan, on forming KL Dragons said, “Basketball has and continues to be a passion of mine. I have been playing the game since my teenage years and am still actively playing whenever I get the time. When this opportunity to participate in the ABL and the Dragons was presented to me I jumped at the chance as I felt that such an endeavor would expose the sport that I love to many more people in the country and the region. Hopefully the ABL will see this sport gaining the exposure it deserves.”
The KL Dragons aims to create regional platforms of high performance sports and will also be building facilities, infrastructure and developing players’ skills.
“We hope to create an alternative avenue for kids to participate in a healthy lifestyle and fuel their passion in striving to be the best by giving them opportunities to become professional players,” Dato’ Wira Dani Daim says, who envisions a future where youths chooses basketball as a profession.
For a start, KL Dragons would be organizing an Under-14 and Under-17 league with the objective of nurturing the youth in basketball, developing them into professional players. With teams from five other different countries such as Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Philippines, KL Dragons sees this as a good opportunity to bring international experience in developing the youth of Kuala Lumpur and also Malaysia.
“The ABL through the KL Dragons provide a great opportunity to promote KL, Malaysia, and Malaysian brands. We hope to bring all 600 million people of ASEAN together by showcasing the spirit of the teamwork and sports to overcome any barriers. As a result, we also hope to see an increase in tourists visiting KL and the rest of Malaysia as well,” Mr. Ruben Emir Gnanalingam says.
As the sole team participating from Malaysia, the team has vowed to perform their best and do their nation proud. The public is more than welcome to lend their support by watching KL Dragons play at the ABL; lucky participants may even win amazing prizes during half-times.
ABL’s first season will run from this October until February 2010, starting from the 11th October ‘09, and KL Dragon's first game would be held at the MABA Stadium, KL on the 14th of October ‘09 at 7pm till 10pm. Tickets are available via ticket hotline outlets and on their website www.tickethotline.com.my. Alternatively tickets also can be bought through their call centre at 03-77251177 or 03-77251166. Ticket price at RM25 for adult and RM20 for student (below 22years old).