Goh: Let’s turn on the power

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National men’s basketball team head coach Goh Cheng Huat has called on his players to turn on the power to win the SEA Games gold medal which has eluded them for 28 years!

The Malaysians won gold at the 1989 Games in Kuala Lumpur but have since failed to emulate that success, living in the shadows of arch rivals Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia.

The Philippines emerged champions 17 times whilst Malaysia won gold once (1989), silver seven times and bronze five times. The Thais won silver medals seven times and Indonesia’s best was three bronze medals in the history of the games.

“This is the best moment to change our fortunes in front of home fans. I urge the players to rise to the occasion and do the nation proud once again,” said the 60-year-old Goh after the Malaysian Basketball Association (Maba) announced the squads during a flag-handling over ceremony for the biennial games at a press conference.

“We trained in New Zealand from July 18-30 and this experience has helped the team to rectify any shortcomings. The Kiwis had assembled several foreign players and I believe this tour has helped lift our game,” said Goh.

The Malaysian men’s team is drawn in Group A alongside Philippines, Myanmar and Thailand in the SEA Games.

Meanwhile, Nur Izzati Yaakob has returned from a knee injury to lead the women’s team for the second time in the biennial games.

“Defending the gold medal is never going to be easy,” said Nur Izzati who also captained the team in Singapore two years ago. “But I have full confidence in my teammates when we go out and face the strong challenges ahead. We are prepared to do battle and retain the gold.”

The Malaysian women’s team won gold medals 10 times since 1977 whilst Thailand emerged winners seven times). Women’s basketball was not contested in Brunei (1999) and Manila (2005). – BY HUSNIYAH GHAZALI and DESLYN YOON

 

Men’s squad: Kuek Tian Yuan, Ma Chee Kheun, Wong Chin Yong, Soo Eng Heng, Chan Kek Thai, Teo Kok Hou, Wong Yi Hou, Loh Shee Fai, Ting Chun Hong, Chee Li Wei, Perry Lim, Yeo Ivan. 

Women’s squad – Wong Mei Chyn, Pang Hui Pin, Chong Yin Yin, Saw Wei Yin, Nur Izzati Yaakob (Capt), Ooi Poh Yee, Tai Chia Qian, Low Phey Chyi, R. Kalaimathi, Ng Shi Yeng, Yap Fook Yee, Ting Chiau Teng.

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