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Tuesday August 27, 2013 MYT 5:58:00 PM
Tuesday August 27, 2013 MYT 6:05:51 PM
by kng zheng guan
estports Malaysia Dragons' Loh Shee Fai (white) challenges Anthony Gene Johnson of Sarawak Firehorse for the ball at one of last year's MNBL matches. Shee Fai, 24, is now one of the seniors on the team.
PETALING JAYA: Westports Malaysia Dragons shooting guard Loh Shee Fai finds himself in the unfamiliar position of the team’s “elder statesman” for the Malaysian National Basketball League (MNBL) which is from Sept 6-29.
The Dragons have opted to field a young and experimental team for the MNBL and as such, experienced players such as captain B. Guganeswaran, Chee Li Wei and Ooi Ban Sin have all been given permission to represent other teams.
Guga, who is the team’s talisman, will don the colours of 2011 champions Miri Firehorse while Ban Sin and centre Li Wei will play for defending champion Farmcochem and newcomer Kelantan Warriors respectively in the month-long tournament.
Two other senior players - K. Satyaseelan and John Ng are on the crock list.
The 24-year-old Shee Fai who stands at 1.92m believes that this puts him in the unusual position of being the team leader ... although 23-year-old Kwan Yoong Jing is expected to be named captain for the MNBL campaign.
“It’s certainly an unusual position to be in - among the ones who have the most experience in the team,” said Shee Fai, who has played in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) with the Dragons for the past three years.
“I’ve never thought about being in this position ... much less being team captain as there have always been seniors in the team with us.
“Coach Ariel (Vanguardia) has not named the captain but I guess it’s between me, Yoong Jing or (Kuek) Tian Yuen.
“In a way it’s a good sign of progress for the Dragons, letting the younger players, namely us, shoulder some responsibility. It’s good for Malaysian basketball too, because even if Guga does not play with us, he can still help other teams with his experience.
“In terms of targets, we’re definitely going to be the weakest team on paper because we are relatively inexperienced.
“But the new boys are good too. (We have) a lot of fast players and I think it’s safe to say that we should be aiming at making the semi-finals,” added Shee Fai.
The MNBL will feature five teams - Dragons, Warriors, Farmcochem, Firehorse and another newcomer - Bintulu Eagle. The first leg of the tournament is from Sept 6-9 at the Miri Indoor Stadium.
Tags / Keywords:
basketball, Westports Malaysia Dragons, Loh Shee Fai, Malaysian National Basketball League, B. Guganeswaran, Kwan Yoong Jing
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