Basketball: Appalling turnout for selection
By : Shirlexia Tan
IT was to be a selection trial with 29 players from all over the country invited to attend and fight for their places in the national men's basketball team, but proceedings had to be cancelled as only a disappointing eight showed up.
The eight, without breaking sweat, were selected.
This is definitely a sad scenario for the sport.
National team coach Sim Sin Heng, trying very hard to hide his disappointment, said that although there are a few players coming in later, he hopes players who are interested will show up.
"Three players who could not attend yesterday's selection trial will be joining us, and I am also getting two players from the junior team," said Sin Heng.
"And I would like to add, places are still available for those who want to play for the country."
He also said that there are also three other players who are studying and playing overseas and would only join the team for competitions when available.
The coach said he would like to have at least 16 to 18 players in regular training and have them fight for the final 12 places.
Three Korat Sea Games players, Koo Chen Jye, Loh Hoo Won and senior player K. Satyaseelan have since retired.
The coach, though disappointed, said he understands why this is happening.
"It just reflects the men's basketball programme in the country.
"We could not get the best players and the available ones are often unable to contribute."
Another factor, he said, is the money that these players are getting.
"The National Sports Council (NSC) is not funding us anymore so we only have our sponsors to rely on.
"Every month we give the players a RM1,000 allowance plus other benefits but only those who really have the heart to play would accept that."
The team started training yesterday with the available players.
Taken from http://www.nst.com.my/