Cheng Huat quits national team to focus on grassroots level

KUALA LUMPUR: Goh Cheng Huat has resigned as the chief coach of the national men’s basketball team to focus on grassroots development.

The 62-year-old, who was re-hired in May last year for the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in August, quit last week.

His contract was due to expire at the end of this month.

Cheng Huat, who has more than 30 years of coaching experience, thanked the Malaysian Basketball Association (Maba) for “all the support they have given me”.

“I resigned because I want to focus on grassroots development, which is an important element in any sport. I want to continue to help Maba have a larger pool of players,” said Cheng Huat, who guided the Malaysian men’s team to fifth placing in the KL SEA Games.

Cheng Huat, who had previously coached the national team from 2009 to 2011, has been hired by Melaka to train their men’s team for the Agong Cup, which will be held at the Gem Hall in Cyberjaya from Dec 18-25.

Maba president Datuk Lua Choon Hann said that they had accepted Cheng Huat’s resignation.

“He did his best to help the national team for the KL SEA Games and we wish all the best.

“We’re happy that he is willing to focus on grassroots development,” said Choon Hann at the Maba office here yesterday.

He also said that coach from the winning team in the Agong Cup would “replace Cheng Huat as the new national coach”.

Choon Hann also revealed that Maba planned to launch a High School Basketball League next year to help overcome the lack of competitions for junior players.

“This will provide our juniors with more matches to play. Now, the juniors only feature in the two tournaments a year – the MSSM (National School Sports Council) Under-18 tournament and the Maba junior competitions.

“Every state will have their own High School League and top 24 teams from all the states will then compete in the National High School League,” said Choon Hann.

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