MABA’s new boss targets SEA Games gold medals

KUALA LUMPUR: Newly-minted Malaysian Basketball Association (Maba) president Datuk Tan Kang Yong has taken over with a vow – to bring home two gold medals from the Hanoi SEA Games next year.

The 55-year-old Kang Yong succeeded Datuk Lua Choon Hann as president, winning the top post uncontested at the association’s annual meeting yesterday, and promised to revive the dwindling fortunes of Malaysian basketball.

Choon Hann did not seek re-election after taking responsibility for the Jalur Gemilang fiasco in November last year.

The controversy arose after an incorrect national flag was displayed during the opening ceremony of the National Under-15 Championship.

Choon Hann took voluntarily leave after that and Kang Yong, the then deputy, became acting president.

He appears to have done enough in the last six months to convince all 18 affiliates to give him the full mandate to lead them for the next four years.

Malaysia also had a disastrous outing at the Philippines SEA Games last December with the national women’s team, the 13-time champions, coming home empty handed.

“Our immediate goal will be to regain the women’s gold at the Hanoi Games next year, ” said Kang Yong.

“We are also aiming to win the women’s 3-on-3 gold. We stand a chance as our girls clinched a bronze last year.

“Achieving these two targets will get us off to a good start.

“I will do my best over the next four years to bring Malaysian basketball to greater heights, ” said Kang Yong, who also believes he can unite all Malaysians through basketball.

“It is Maba’s vision to make basketball popular in the country.

“We want to see the sport played by everyone regardless of their race, ” said Kang Yong.

“From next year onwards, the national championships, including the age-group competitions, will be held in states rather than in Kuala Lumpur.

“We moved the competitions here since 2016 for broadcasting purposes, but we no longer get the air time.

“In fact, we are now capable of doing our own live streaming through social media platforms like Facebook, so it’s better for us to bring the championships to the states to generate more excitement and interest.”

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