VBA Awards 2022: Shane Henry unexpectedly wins MVP award

September 09, 2022 - 16:05
The VBA Awards were held on September 8 in HCM City. There were nine awards given out, and some of them have caused controversy among fans.
Tim Waale of Saigon Heat won the Most Improved Player award. — Photo courtesy of VBA

HCM CITY — The 2022 VBA Professional Basketball (VBA) season ended with the championship title belonging to the Saigon Heat for a third time in a row. The Hanoi Buffaloes finished second but were rewarded with a double individual title by foreign player Shane Henry.

The VBA Awards were held on September 8 in HCM City. There were nine awards given out, and some of them have caused controversy among fans.

The two most important awards, MVP and Coach of the Year, unexpectedly belonged to Shane Henry of the Hanoi Buffaloes and coach Todd Purves of the Nha Trang Dolphins, respectively.

This was a surprising result for fans, because most of them assumed that these two awards would belong to Alonzo Stafford and coach Matthew Van Pelt of the Saigon Heat.

Rookie of the year was given to Lê Khắc Đăng Khoa of Cần Thơ Catfish. He surpassed two other rookie nominees, Nguyễn Việt Mỹ (Nha Trang Dolphins) and Triệu Hùng Minh (Đà Nẵng Dragon), to win this award.

This is a well-deserved reward for Khoa, who averaged 10 points a game.

"Despite this achievement, I still feel like I need to improve a lot to get better. My intention is to continue to practise and upgrade my skill set, and to learn more from the experiences of other excellent players playing in the VBA," Khoa told Việt Nam News after receiving the award.

The Most Improved Player of the year award was given to Tim Waale of Sài Gòn Heat after a remarkable season.

Anyone who has followed VBA since its first seasons can see the progress and maturity of this player.

Having a rough start with a limited skill set and lack of experience in professional competition, Tim overcame the difficulties and gradually perfected his skills to become an important piece in the team.

He also won the award for Block of the Year voted by fans.

At the end of the award ceremony, Trần Chu Sa Ceo of the VBA commented that this was a successful season beyond the expectations of the organisers.

"From the beginning, we only wanted to bring the basketball live experience to the fans after the COVID-19 pandemic. But the great support of the fans all over the country helped us achieve the goals set out before the tournament. Many sold-out matches in the regular season as well as the final series were sold out in less than 24 hours," he said.

"In the future, we will continue to cooperate with the teams to organise the annual 3x3 tournaments. We will continue to increase the size of the tournament as well as hold it in more provinces and cities across the country to bring the basketball experience closer to the fans," he added. — VNS