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Singapore Slingers 'stop playing' amid uncertainty around ASEAN Basketball League's future

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Slingers on Monday (Nov 20) said that they will "stop playing" as the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) in which they compete is facing an uncertain future.

The resumption of the league in the near term was unlikely as it no longer had the support of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), Singapore's only professional basketball team said in a statement on their website.

"It is with a heavy heart and great disappointment that the Singapore Slingers ownership announce that the ABL is unlikely to play for the foreseeable future," the statement read.

The ABL had been informed by FIBA that it "does not fit into (its) future plans for basketball in the region", the Slingers said.

"FIBA will be selective of which leagues it would support and allow moving forward. FIBA's clear instructions to the regional basketball federations essentially denied the ABL a viable future," the team continued.

"The ABL has spent the past two years trying to find a compromise with FIBA without success."

The Slingers added that "millions of dollars" had been spent to build the league's brand and lift the standard of regional basketball over 11 seasons.

A check by CNA on Monday evening showed that the ABL had not made a formal announcement regarding its status.

The league's most recent season was played in early 2023 after a three-year hiatus brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Going forward, the Slingers said that they will explore how they can continue to be a "development platform" for Singapore's top basketball players while working with Sport Singapore (SportSG).

"The Slingers have been a feature in the local basketball scene through their competition in the ABL, community outreach programmes as well as its support of