KUALA LUMPUR: There is a massive increase in total prize money for the 57th edition of the Maba-Matrix Agong Cup National Basketball Championships.
But it seems it’s not enough to attract all the states to participate in the tournament which will be held at the Sandakan Public Hall in Sabah from Dec 29-Jan 5.
The prize money has been increased from RM24,000 last year to RM90,000 this year – a whopping 275% rise.
But, only 11 teams will compete in the men’s event and seven in the women’s category this time, compared to 16 (men) and nine (women) last year.
Maba secretary general Chey That Woon said this was because most teams find it too costly to send a team to play in Sandakan.
“It costs a state about RM40,000 to send a team there ... and it costs double that amount to send both the men and women’s teams.
“That’s why some states have decided not to send a team. It was the same when the tournament was held in Tawau, Sabah, in 2013,” said That Woon after receiving a mock cheque for RM240,000 from Yap Woon How, the Matrix manager of corporate communications and public relations, for the hosting of the championships. Matrix, which deals in property development and investment, is sponsoring the championships for five years – from 2015-2019.
In the men’s category, reigning champions Malacca, Police, Sarawak, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Sabah will feature in Division One while Penang, Negri Sembilan, Kelantan, Kedah and Johor will battle it out in Division Two.There will be only one division in the women’s category due to the poor response. The teams are defending champions Selangor, Johor, Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, Sabah, Sarawak and Negri Sembilan.
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