|With a full squad and high performance, the Saigon Heat are favoured to win the VBA finals. Photo courtesy of VBA
HCM CITY — With a healthy squad and home court advantage in the first two games, the Saigon Heat has a strong opportunity to successfully defend its championship of the Việt Nam Basketball Association (VBA) when facing the Hanoi Buffaloes.
The final series will take place in a best of five format. Thanks to being ranked first in the regular season, the Heat will be able to play the first two games on their home court of CIS in District 7, HCM City.
This is the first time the two teams have met in the final series.
If successful in defending the championship, Saigon Heat will become the first team to win three rings in a row, the so-called three-peat.
In the playoffs, the Heat and Buffaloes were both swept their best of three series against the Hồ Chí Minh City Wings and the Nha Trang Dolphins, respectively, to advance to the final.
The defending champion is favoured by experts, as the Heat have won both matches against Hanoi in the regular season.
With quality local players such as Dư Minh An, Võ Kim Bản and Nguyễn Huỳnh Phú Vinh, who can score more than 10 points in a match, and the high performance of the duo Alonzo Stafford and Maddarious Gibbs, the Heat expect to control the games in the final series.
To get a good result against Saigon Heat, the defensive of coach Eric Wessling (Hanoi Buffaloes) will need to “cool down” the Heat’s duo.
This is the Hanoi Buffaloes' first trip to the VBA Finals in four years. In the finals four years ago, the Buffaloes lost to the Cần Thơ Catfish.
Compared to the lineup of four years ago, this year's Buffaloes lineup has more potential to win.
Local players such as Đinh Tiến Công and Nguyễn Tiến Dương have gained more experience and are now starters.
In addition, Nguyễn Phú Hoàng, local 2018 MVP, and Tâm Đinh, 2019 MVP, are quality additions to the capital’s team.
Young players such as Nguyễn Đường Quang Anh and Trần Minh Hiếu could also be surprise factors for coach Eric in the finals.
The foreign duo of the Buffaloes, Shane Henry and Jeffery Stubbs, will also be a great match up against the Heat’s duo.
Game 1 of the VBA 2022 final series will be this Sunday, August 28. VNS