Basketball: Maba offers RM50,000 incentive for gold in Vietnam

KUALA LUMPUR: Vietnam SEA Games-bound basketball players have been hung with a huge carrot to pull out all the stops and win gold medals for the country.

Malaysian Basketball Association (Maba) President Datuk Lee Tian Hock announced yesterday that each player from the gold medal winning teams will receive a cash reward of RM50,000 each.

And the amount will be doubled for the head coach of the team.

“It’s to encourage players to fight for gold,” said Tian Hock after unveiling the team list for this edition’s SEA Games.

“We have set an official goal of one silver and two bronze medals. Each player on the silver medal team will be awarded RM20,000 and RM10,000 will be awarded for bronze. All head coaches will receive double this amount. The RM50,000 gold incentive is to motivate players to exceed the target,” he added.

Malaysia will send four teams to Vietnam for the Games from May 12-23 – men’s and women’s 5×5, men’s and women’s 3×3.

In the last edition of the Games in the Philippines, basketball managed to win only one bronze medal in the women’s 3×3 event.

But in the 2015 and 2017 editions, the Malaysian women won gold and Tian Hock wants the 3×3 and 5×5 teams to emulate those achievements again.

“Six of the players from the gold medal teams in 2015 and 2017 have stayed for this edition. They were joined by younger and bigger players. If they peak at the right time, I think both teams can win gold,” he said.

As for the men’s team, Tien Hock doesn’t think it’s impossible for them to win silver medals.

“Winning gold might be tough for the men with the Philippines being the favourites. But of course it’s not impossible. If the team plays exceptionally well, we still have a chance. We’re tied with Thailand , Indonesia and Singapore. I believe the teams can excel this time,” added Tien Hock.

Tien Hock’s confidence in the men’s teams stems from their good results in recent tournaments.

The men’s team was runners-up in the recent Asean Basketball League (ABL) 3×3 International Champions Cup in Bali and the pre-SEA Games ABL tournament.

Meanwhile, Malaysian basketball received a huge boost after Maba signed a new sponsorship deal with Li-Ning worth RM1 million for two years.

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