Westports Malaysia Dragons captain Ooi Ban Sin goes for a layup during a match in the Agong Cup in 2012. - Filepic
PETALING JAYA: Veterans Ooi Ban Sin and John Ng are happy with the way Westports Malaysia Dragons are shaping up for the fifth season of the Asean Basketball League (ABL).
The 31-year-old Ban Sin, who takes over as captain following B. Guganeswaran’s retirement, believes the Dragons are ready for the challenge when they tip off away against Hi-Tech Bangkok City in Bangkok in the league’s first match on Wednesday.
“There are still a few regular faces and it will not be too hard taking over as captain because the players know what to do,” said Ban Sin.
“This is a much younger team compared to previous years. They are full of energy. This is something we definitely need especially now that one local player must be on court throughout the entire match.
“On top of that, the attitude is good, especially our imports and that’s the most important thing in a team if we are to reach at least the semi-finals,” added Ban Sin.
Vice-captain and power forward John Ng, who at 33 is the oldest member in the team, echoed Ban Sin’s sentiments.
“We have a balanced squad of imports and local players who can push the Dragons towards making the final for the first time.
“I think we have good imports who are ready to play for the team this time around,” said John.
“As long as we make the semi-finals, I believe we have a strong chance of going further than that.”
The Dragons have retained the services of Filipino-Tongan forward Moala Tautuaa. They have also added Filipino guard Rashawn McCarthy and Americans Justin Knox and Chris Eversley.
Besides Dragons and Hi-Tech Bangkok City, the other fours teams in the league are Saigon Heat, Singapore Slingers and Laskar Dreya South Sumatra and Indonesia Warriors.