Brunei Barracudas to Borneo Barracudas? - Mar 9, 2011
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Brunei Barracudas to Borneo Barracudas?
Go west: ABL may move Brunei Barracudas to Miri.
THE Brunei Barracudas may soon go west and be known as the Borneo Barracudas.
The Sultanate stands to lose its first professional basketball team to Malaysian neighbours Miri or Kota Kinabalu should no form of support is received by the Barracudas in the next two months.
Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ABL's title sponsor AirAsia Datuk Sri Tony Fernandes told the Press on Friday night that the lack of support from the government and private sector might force the Barracudas to 'migrate' to Malaysia.
Fernandes gave this ultimatum during the Asean Basketball League (ABL) 2010/11 Award Night held at the Empire Hotel in Subang, Malaysia, on Friday.
'The ABL has had a phenomenal two years and one of the saddest things for me is the lack of support from Brunei corporates and the government,' Fernandes told reporters.
'I think they should get involved because it is good for the sport and the country. I think it's tough for Nadzaty (Azma Azeez, the Barracudas owner) to survive without sponsors or support because she can't just depend on ticket revenues,' he added during an interview with the Brunei media.
'So we'll have to look for other alternatives and one suggestion is to move the team from Brunei to Malaysia: either to Miri (in Sarawak), Kota Kinabalu or even Kuching. 'Well that's an idea we've put forward and it is up to Nadzaty and the owners to decide. But, before any decision is taken, I really hope that someone in Brunei can step forward and help (the team),' added Fernandes.
The AirAsia CEO praised Nadzaty's efforts in promoting the Barracudas in the Sultanate saying that despite the 'very limited funds, knowledge and support, she has probably created the most successful sport franchise in Brunei with 2,000-3,000 people turning up every week to watch the team'.
'Of course, I would like the team to stay in Brunei, but I'm not going to let Nadzaty's hard work go to waste. If it is needed, we'll move the team like in America. Teams move sometimes and we'll move the Barracudas to Sabah or Sarawak. At least Brunei will be represented in the form of Borneo,' said Fernandes, who earlier said they were in talks with Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister I Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam regarding the project.
During the interview, the Seattle SuperSonics relocation to Oklahoma City for the 2008/09 National Basketball Association (NBA) was brought up as an example. Currently known as the Oklahoma City Thunder, the team's owners decided to move after failed efforts to persuade Washington government officials to provide funding.
The successful move made the Seattle Supersonics the third NBA franchise to relocate in the past decade.
'We'll give Nadzaty two months to try and put together something to keep the team in Brunei, but I have to say that it's disappointing. I think it will be very sad for the people in Brunei if the Barracudas move out of Bandar Seri Begawan into Miri, Kuching or Kota Kinabalu. We've received a lot of offers to take the team so she's done a good job. It's a shame she can't survive in her own country,' said Fernandes.
Nadzaty was also present during the dinner and spoke of the difficulties that had led to the decision.
'Well, it is very sad that there had been no support and sponsors in the two years. I also have problems getting players, because most of the Bruneian basketball players are working so they can only be with the team part-time,' explained the Barracudas owner.
'I can't even get practice court at night so my team have to practise during the day when my locals are not available. It is not a suprise that we are last in the league when at every practice session there are just five people, the five imports and maybe a couple of locals.
'I literally begged the association (Brunei Darussalam Basketball Association) to let me use the court for practice sessions at night but it said no. There's just no support,' added Nadzaty.
Asked how Brunei fans would react to the news, Nadzaty shrugged and said: 'I don't know. Hopefully someone will come out and back us up. We're trying to create something for Bruneians, another avenue for their career, instead of just academically they can go into sports.'
Michael Parala (196-F-89) lifted the Labuan Wasps to the final of the Yuwang EBL Basketball League with a come from behind 82-79 victory over the Kota Kinabalu Eagles last night. Parala scored 14 of his 19 points in the deciding period, including the basket to separate the two sides in Kuching. The final will be a repeat of last year's where Kuching Lord Tiger won 86-64 to clinch the inaugural title. The see-saw game was deadlocked at 79-79 with a minute to go. The Eagles had the chance t... [read more]
Michael Parala (196-F-89) lifted the Labuan Wasps to the final of the Yuwang EBL Basketball League with a come from behind 82-79 victory over the Kota Kinabalu Eagles last night. Parala scored 14 of his 19 points in the deciding period, including the basket to separate the two sides in Kuching. The final will be a repeat of last year's where Kuching Lord Tiger won 86-64 to clinch the inaugural title. The see-saw game was deadlocked at 79-79 with a minute to go. The Eagles had the chance to go back up but John Foronda missed his attempt inside the paint with 43 seconds to go. Parala converted a three-point play with 24 seconds left. Argel Mendoza missed a game-tying trey with 11 seconds left and the Eagles had to foul Kennedie Teo immediately. The latter missed both his shots. Mendoza had another opportunity with a half court heave but missed. Courtesy of: bt.com.bn
Blazers fall short against Lord Tiger in EBL - 7 months ago
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THE Beruang Blazers fell short yet again to the defending champions Kuching Lord Tiger after a 94-90 loss in the fourth leg of the Yuwang EBL Basketball League last night. The Brunei side had fallen to a 66-64 heartbreak against the same side at the Kota Kinabalu Community Hall on Sunday. The game looked over as the Lord Tiger were ahead 93-80 with two minutes left to play in the fourth quarter at the Brunei Basketball Association (BBA) court in Batu Bersurat. Lyndon Gudez then went on an... [read more]
THE Beruang Blazers fell short yet again to the defending champions Kuching Lord Tiger after a 94-90 loss in the fourth leg of the Yuwang EBL Basketball League last night. The Brunei side had fallen to a 66-64 heartbreak against the same side at the Kota Kinabalu Community Hall on Sunday. The game looked over as the Lord Tiger were ahead 93-80 with two minutes left to play in the fourth quarter at the Brunei Basketball Association (BBA) court in Batu Bersurat. Lyndon Gudez then went on an 8-0 personal run to give the Blazers a lifeline with over a minute to play. Darren Chai then made two freethrows to bring the game to a single possession at 93-90 with 39 seconds left. The hosts had a chance to go for the tie after Lord Tiger gifted ball possession back to the Blazers as Ramsey Williams was whistled for an offensive foul off the inbounds. The Blazers took a timeout but it never materialised as Benjamin Sim stole the ball off Darren after the inbounds. The Brunei side only recovered the ball with 14 seconds left and Darren, not knowing the time left on the clock, air balled a contested three-pointer three seconds later. The Blazers had to foul to stop the clock and Joon Kang Lee (176-G-99) split his charities with three seconds left to extend the Lord Tiger's unbeaten streak to 10 games. Blazers coach Hj Md Sofrian Hj Md Yusof, who is known as Ryan, was disappointed to finish at the losing end. 'Earlier on they (Lord Tiger) were making baskets and we were slow getting back on defence. But the players tried their best and we did claw back into the game,' said Ryan in an interview with The Brunei Times after the defeat. 'We made it close and just fell short again. It is heartbreaking but I think it is a lesson for us. 'We started strong with some lapses in between. Nonetheless, the effort on the court was incredible. Hopefully we keep the energy up for tomorrow (Saturday night),' he added. The Blazers had all three of their imports in double figures for the outing with Gudez leading the way with 24 points, which included five treys, while Hernal 'Wowie' Escosio added 15 points. Singaporean centre Goh Delvin (199-C-95), who only took eight shots and missed one the whole game, contributed a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Darren was the other in double figures for the Brunei side with 14 points in a losing effort. Lord Tiger had distributed scoring with five players hitting double figures. Chze Hian Chai (180-G-82) was on fire for the Lord Tiger as he was perfect from the field, except a missed free throw, in the first half to tally 21 points. He eventually finished with a game-high of 36 points with only two missed field goals from his 16 attempts. The duo of Sim and Yiek Chai Teck added 11 points apiece while Jessie Collado (193-F-87), who never returned after an injury in the second quarter, and Bobby Balacunag notched 10 points each in the victory. The Lord Tiger got off to a good start as the Blazers were not getting back fast enough on defence. However, the Blazers rallied back to carry a 29-22 lead going into the second period after a Goh putback at the buzzer. Goh and Escosio did most of damage for the Blazers to finish with 10 and nine points respectively in the opening period. The Lord Tiger started the second quarter with an 8-0 run before Gudez nailed a trey to stop the rot. The Blazers were having trouble press breaking their opponents but remained ahead 52-49 at half time after Gudez hit a buzzer beating three-pointer. The hosts scored the first four points after the interval but the Lord Tiger turned things around with a 14-0 run. The defending champions were running the floor and executing their offence to take a 74-62 advantage into the final stanza. Earlier, Labuan Wasps fell 96-79 to the KK Eagles. John Foronda (197-C) had a double-double with 23 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Eagles while Nicol Bolos added 22 points. On the other hand, Ng Sing Tee notched 22 points for the Wasps. The Blazers will next take on the Eagles today at 9pm right after the matchup between the Lord Tiger and Wasps at 7pm. Courtesy of: bt.com.bn
Gritty Blazers edge Eagles in thriller - 7 months ago
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THE Beruang Blazers put up their best showing to date in the Yuwang EBL Basketball League to hold on for a 79-76 victory over Kota Kinabalu Eagles in the third leg last night. Filipino import Lyndon Gudez was back to his usual self after recovering from a sprained finger on his shooting hand to finish with a game-high of 29 points to lead the Blazers to their second win in the competition. Captain Ben Sim knocked off his shooting slump from the previous leg to record 18 points, which incl... [read more]
THE Beruang Blazers put up their best showing to date in the Yuwang EBL Basketball League to hold on for a 79-76 victory over Kota Kinabalu Eagles in the third leg last night. Filipino import Lyndon Gudez was back to his usual self after recovering from a sprained finger on his shooting hand to finish with a game-high of 29 points to lead the Blazers to their second win in the competition. Captain Ben Sim knocked off his shooting slump from the previous leg to record 18 points, which included four treys, while Singaporean centre Goh Delvin (199-C-95) notched a double-double with 15 points and 12 boards in the win. On the other hand, Filipino import John Foronda (197-C) produced a double-double of 26 points and 12 rebounds to pace the Eagles. His compatriot Argel Mendoza was the other in double figures with 23 points to a losing cause. The Blazers got off to a ferocious start with strong man-to-man defence to lead by as many as 12 points in the opening half. However, the Eagles came storming back in the second period and to close to within 42-40 at halftime. The hosts grabbed the lead for the first time after scoring the first four points after the interval two minutes into the frame. They got their largest lead at 49-45 midway through the third period courtesy of a trey by Helbert Legada. The Eagles were then held without a field goal and the Blazers went on a 12-1 run for the next three minutes to eventually carry a 64-58 advantage into the final stanza. It was a physical affair but the Blazers held their ground and were in front 73-65 with over three minutes to go before back-to-back baskets by the Eagles. The Bruneian side took a timeout to regroup and Sim hit five straight points including a circus shot to make it 78-71 with less than two minutes left. Mendoza then converted a three-point play to cut the deficit and was fouled shooting a trey with a minute to go. He missed the first from the free-throw line before connecting on the next two to make it a one possession game at 78-76. The Blazers came up empty handed at the other end and Mendoza had a chance to give the hosts the lead with 36 seconds left but Choo Yung Jian (175-G-88) came to the rescue of the Blazers to block his three-point shot. The Eagles had to foul with the time winding down and Gudez was sent to the line with 12 seconds to go but he split his charities to give the Eagles a lifeline. However, Mendoza was off the mark with his game-tying three-pointer despite a good look at the basket to see the Blazers win their first in three meetings against their opponents. Blazers coach Hj Md Sofrian Hj Md Yusof, also known as Ryan, was delighted with the win and paid tribute to his players for the strong showing. 'As a team we played tremendously well and everybody did their part. It is the best game we have played and we wanted to make sure that we do everything we can to win,' said Ryan in an interview with The Brunei Times after the triumph. 'The officiating here is a bit different but we held our own but if we focus on what we need to do, we will play a really good game and it showed tonight (Friday night). 'I'm proud of my players. Lyndon was back to himself and both Wowie (Hernal Escosio) and Delvin did well,' he added. 'I also have so much appreciation for the local players for stepping up when I needed them the most. 'I hope that we will carry this positivity into the next game (against the Labuan Wasps at 7pm today) with the same finesse and intensity,' concluded Ryan. In the earlier game, defending champions Kuching Lord Tiger extended their unbeaten run in the competition to seven games after a 108-80 win over the Wasps. Courtesy of: bt.com.bn
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