Wednesday June 15, 2005
Malaysia take over as hosts of Seaba tournament
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia are taking over as hosts of the South-East Asian (Seaba) men’s basketball championship after Singapore were unable to commit themselves to stage it as planned from June 19-26.
The tournament will now be held at the Maba Stadium here from July 5-9.
The Malaysia Basketball Association (Maba) coaching committee chairman, Wee Cheong Por, said that Singapore had indicated that the venue of competition would not be ready in time and offered to hold it in the first week of August.
“But Indonesia said that they would have their league championship during that period. We don’t want Indonesia to pull out of the tournament and offered to host the championship,” he said.
Six teams will compete in the championship. Besides Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, the others in the fray are Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam.
Cheong Por added they considered the tournament as an important one for the national men’s team in the run-up to the Manila SEA Games in November.
“It will give us an idea of where we stand against our rivals in the SEA Games. We have skipped the FIBA Asia Champions Cup to concentrate on this competition. It is also a qualifying tournament for the Asian Championship in Qatar (in September),” he said.
Malaysia have set their sights on a top two finish in the championship, which would earn them a trip to Qatar.
After the championship, the national team will fly to Hong Kong to participate in the Super Kung Sheng invitational tournament.