By Marcus ChhanFollow @@MarcusChhan
Both the Sports Rev Thailand Slammers (7-14) and Jobstreet.com Singapore Slingers (7-14) are slugging it out for the fourth and final place in the post-season this week, although Joe Bryant's team does hold the tie-break edge.
The Slingers play their final regular season game on Tuesday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium while the Slammers are in action a day later with a road trip to the Saigon Heat.
The equation for Neo Beng Siang's men isn't straightforward; to make the ABL Playoffs the fifth-placed Singaporeans must beat Indonesia and hope the rock-bottom Heat can spring a surprise on the Thais, who currently occupy fourth.
Whatever happens this week, though, the dramatic end to the regular season is one the league's chief executive officer Anthony Macri had hoped for when the 2013 campaign tipped off in early January.
"Absolutely. We want to put ourselves in a position where no one knows what the next game is going to bring. That's what makes sports great - is not knowing the outcome," Macri told FOX Sports.
Waiting in the post-season wings for either the Slammers or the Slingers are the San Miguel Beermen, Indonesia Warriors and Westports Malaysia Dragons.
And for new fans who may not be accustomed to what exactly Playoff basketball is all about - Macri has a few tips handy.
The emphasis is on possession - and every possession counts in the Playoffs.
"I always tell people to basically put their hand up over the TV screen and cover the ball, and look at everything else that's happening away from the ball. What you will see especially with Playoff basketball is screens are set a little harder, guys are running a little harder, there's a little bit more of guys fighting through screens, and this is all actually an exciting part of the game to see out on the court," Macri said.
"So many of us get tunnel vision on the ball but everything else that is happening [away from the ball] sets up that score.
"The other thing I would tell people to look at: Watch the benches for both teams as much as you can. When you watch the benches you get a sense of the team camaraderie that they have and how much it means to them to be competing out there for a championship."
Macri admits the ABL has suffered in the past with referees losing control of games but has been encouraged by improvements he has seen this season.
"I think they manage the game better and I think they've grown in maturity and understanding in what we expect of them," Macri said.
"So what do we want? As the tempers get a bit up, as the stakes get a little higher, that our referees understand that players, coaches, owners have a little more invested this time of year as we go into the Playoffs.
"And so they both have to be able to understand and control the situation and understand the heat of the moment things that will happen throughout the games.
"Basketball just gets more physical in the Playoffs. You see that right now in the NBA... and that's OK. That's not a bad thing for basketball but our referees need to adjust the way they are viewing the game, and the way they call the game based upon that."
The ABL regular season for 2013 ends on May 19th with the Saigon Heat hosting the Westports Malaysia Dragons in the final fixture.