Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Saigon Heat’s focus in the upcoming Việt Nam Basketball Association (VBA) League is to develop young players, according to their CEO Connor Nguyễn.
“VBA 2018 will be the chance for Saigon Heat young players. We will fight for a playoffs spot. But our key goal is to develop our young players,” said Nguyễn.
“We are the youngest team, and we will be playing a lot of players who are 18, 19 years old. Compared to other teams, that already have established star players, we definitely are the underdog. So what we are going to do is try to be competitive and see how fast our young players can improve.”
“We have a longer plan to develop these young talents for the national team, as well as for the Heat in the VBA and ASEAN Basketball League (ABL). They are going to have their opportunity to play,” said Nguyễn.
Nguyễn also shared his thoughts on the youth development of the team, as well as the youth team, Jr Heat.
“Looking at the player list of Saigon Heat this season, you can see that most of them are coming from the Jr Heat. They are all very talented and promising players, and I believe under our teaching system, especially coach Kyle Julius, they have a bright future. Players like Võ Kim Bản, Phạm Hiền Tài and Sơn Minh Tâm are playing a very important role of the Heat not only in the upcoming VBA, but also in ABL and even for the national team. In the future, we will try to develop more and more talented players like that.”
Playing with the youngsters are veterans such as Hồng Gia Lân, Trần Đăng Khoa, Tavarion Nix, Tim Waale and Dư Minh An.
Nguyễn is very pleased with the newcomers of the team.
“American Nix is our choice for the import slot of VBA 2018. He is a very talented, versatile player with great fighting spirit. If he does well this season, then who knows, maybe he will continue to be our guy for the next ABL,” said Nguyễn.
“Khoa, who comes from Danang Dragons, is also a young player with lots of potential. We look at him as a long-term player, for VBA, ABL and also for the national team,” Nguyễn added.
Today, the Heat will meet Cantho Catfish in a VBA preseason match in Cần Thơ Gymnasium in the southern province of Cần Thơ.
This year’s VBA features six teams, including Thang Long Warriors, Hanoi Buffaloes, Danang Dragons, HCM City Wings, Saigon Heat, and Cantho Catfish.
It will last until September 16. — VNS