VBA to start amid significant league changes

June 11, 2024 - 08:03
The Cần Thơ Catfish have undergone a complete roster overhaul, keeping only the young and talented Lê Đắc Đăng Khoa.
Nguyễn Huỳnh Phú Vinh (left) is expected to lead the Sài Gòn Heat to the championship this year. Photo tienphong.vn


HÀ NỘI — The Việt Nam Pro Basketball League (VBA) is undergoing several notable changes ahead of the 2024 season.

The most significant news is that the former champions, the Thăng Long Warriors, will be taking a break from the league for the 2024 season, which is a major shock for fans and creates a significant void in the tournament, since they are the strongest contenders for winning the league.

Meanwhile, another team representing the capital city, the Hà Nội Buffaloes, are making careful preparations to challenge for the upcoming season. They have announced the signing of four new rookies, including the highly celebrated Caleb Nguyễn and Jimmy Nguyễn, who are making the transition from the US basketball system.

Another surprising change is that all four teams - the HCM City Wings, the Nha Trang Dolphins, the Cần Thơ Catfish, and the Đà Nẵng Dragons - will share the same home venue, the Hồ Xuân Hương Gymnasium, during the regular season.

The VBA and the clubs explained that this is due to the fluctuating economic climate, allowing the teams to optimise their operations and logistics. While this may be unfortunate for fans in each locality, they will have the chance to support their teams again when the season enters the play-offs.

The Catfish have undergone a complete roster overhaul, retaining only the young talent Lê Đắc Đăng Khoa, who put in impressive performances last season. They have also appointed veteran Lê Trần Minh Nghĩa as their new head coach, hoping to bring a fresh approach and help the team regain form after struggling in previous seasons.

The Dolphins have bid farewell to six players, retaining only two key players from last season, Dominique Tham and Huỳnh Vĩnh Quang. They have appointed Chris Daleo, the former Thăng Long Warriors coach, to lead their team, aiming for better results than their runner-up finish last season.

In contrast to the other teams' activities, information about the Dragons and the Wings has been relatively limited, with just one notable change for the Wings, the departure of their head coach, Erik Olsen, after three seasons.

Defending champions Sài Gòn Heat are still considered the top contenders for the 2024 VBA championship. With a core of talented Vietnamese players like Phú Vinh, Kim Bản, and promising young talents, the Heat have demonstrated their strength and consistency over the previous seasons. With their home advantage at the CIS Arena and a strong roster, the team is well placed to maintain their championship aspirations.

The VBA 2024 season is set to tip off on June 19. — VNS