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Brunei 8th in China-Asean Basketball Invitational - Dec 13, 2010

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THE national basketball team finished eighth at the recently concluded 3rd China-Asean Basketball Invitational tournament at Pingguo County, Guangxi, China from Nov 30 - Dec 6.

A fatigued Brunei side were humbled 77-55 by Vietnam in the battle for seventh place on Monday.

The team was hoping to improve on their fifth place finish two years ago whereby the Sultanate managed to capture three wins.

But unlike two years ago when the team had four Filipinos, only Don Mordeno and Marjomar Aying were in the line-up after Elvin Requintin and Geve Leones begged off due to personal reasons.

This year, the team only managed one win - against Vietnam 87-83 in the group stages on Saturday.

Despite the setback, national basketball coach Kevin Reece remains positive on the outlook of Brunei basketball.

'Overall it was a great experience especially for the younger ones on the squad. They played well as most of them have never played in conditions whereby their opponents were so tall,' said Reece, during an interview with The Brunei Times, yesterday.

'We even got complemented by other coaches that the team plays good defence and that they wouldn't give up playing their hearts out under all circumstances,' he added.

Ben Sim averaged 20.6 points and 10.8 rebounds per game in the five matches.

Reece was impressed with Sim's performance.

'He can play in almost all positions, pass the ball and defend well. Most importantly, he's one of the most unselfish players that I've ever coached,' said Reece. 'Being the captain, he also motivates the other team members as well and showed leadership. I take my hat off to him for averaging a double-double against players who were taller and having to fight off double teams in every game,' concluded the American.

Others members of the team are youngsters Lim Liang Wei, Cavan Kong, Soon Kian Leong, Foo Gwen Tong, Md Zainul Ashyraf Hj Hussin and the experienced duo of Po Yung Hui and Jong Guo Zhang.

The Philippines defended their title after thrashing hosts Guangxi 96-67 in the final. Thailand settled for the bronze after defeating Hong Kong 78-53.

Malaysia finished fifth after beating Macau 78-53 while Singapore was last.
The Brunei Times

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