Vietnamese basketball team ready for tip-off at FIBA Asia Cup

November 09, 2022 - 08:32
Việt Nam are in Group D with Tahiti, Thailand, Malaysia and Mongolia. Their first match will be against Tahiti.
Justin Young is a key part of the Vietnamese squad in Mongolia. Photo


HÀ NỘI — The Vietnamese basketball team will begin their FIBA Asia Cup 2025 pre-qualifiers journey in Mongolia on November 10.

Việt Nam are in Group D with Tahiti, Thailand, Malaysia and Mongolia. Their first match will be against Tahiti.

The Việt Nam Basketball Federation (VBF) selected their 12 best players, including Justin Young and Đinh Thanh Sang.

Young, an overseas Vietnamese player, made his national team debut in 2019 at the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup. The captain of Thăng Long Warriors has grown into an important national team player in recent years.

Young's time in the Vietnamese jersey has been marked by success. He helped the national side to two bronze medals at the SEA Games 30 before he and his teammates won a historic silver medal in the 3x3 event at the SEA Games 31 last May.

In the FIBA Asia Cup 2025 preliminary round, Young will play for Việt Nam as a Vietnamese domestic player, as from October 31, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) officially recognised Young as a fully-qualified domestic Vietnamese domestic player.

The fact that Young became a domestic player allowed the Vietnamese team to select another foreign player, and Đinh Thanh Sang, a Vietnamese-American, was selected. Cantho Catfish's star also played in the past two SEA Games.

Sang is a player familiar with the basketball-loving audience in Việt Nam. He is one of the rare players to participate in the VBA seasons from 2016 to now fully. He is a key member of the Cantho Catfish team that dominated the VBA during 2017-19.

As well as the above, the Vietnamese side can call on other outstanding names, like Trần Đăng Khoa, Võ Kim Bản and Nguyễn Huỳnh Phú Vinh.

Saigon Heat head coach Matt Van Pelt will lead the Vietnamese team in this tournament. It is the first time a young American coach has trained the national team, replacing Kevin Yurks.

The FIBA Asia Cup 2025 pre-qualifiers have two rounds. The teams will be divided into four groups based on their regions. West Asian teams are in Groups A and B, while East Asian teams are in Groups C and D.

The teams will play in a round-robin format in the first round, with the top three teams advancing to the second round.

The three advancing teams from Groups A and B will be put into Group E, while those from Groups C and D will be merged into group F.

Teams in Groups E and F will continue to play in a round-robin format. The top four teams in each group will advance to the 2025 FIBA Asia Cup 2025 qualifiers, along with 16 other teams that have entered directly.

In the first pre-qualifying round, Việt Nam are in Group D. To advance to the second round, Việt Nam must finish at least third. VNS