Malaysia Stars Elated With Support from Local Fans in SEA Games Opener

MABA Stadium rocked from the cheers even before gametime as the Malaysia National Team took the court to warm up for their game against Myanmar. The Malaysian players rocked sleek black jerseys with orange stripes to resemble a tiger, the national animal of Malaysia, as they flew toward the rim in the layup lines. The fans in the stands would exclaim collective oohs and ahs every time they took flight.

And they the fans kept on filing in up until the point where the security guards had to hold some fans in line outside to prevent overcrowding the venue. Fans filled up the seats in a hurry to make sure they would be getting a good look of their team playing in their first game.

Even after playing at MABA stadium for years, the players noticed and enjoyed the mass of fans that showed up.

“When we came in, we saw a lot of people and we were very happy because we could fill up the stadium and a lot of malaysia basketball people came to support us.” Kuek Tian Yuan said after his 11-point, 6-rebound, 6-steal performance. Kuek has seen a large deal of games with a quality amount of fans during his years playing for the Westports Malaysia Dragons, but he couldn’t help by let out a huge grin while mentioning his delight at all the fans who had attended today’s game.

Malaysia fed off the energy that the crowds displayed. They started the game with a 13-0 run and continued to pile up the scoreboard as the fans cheered on for every made three-pointer and fastbreak finish. The support was so overwhelming that there were some concerns whether the players would be accustomed to such a situation.

“It felt a little bit nervous at first,”  Ivan Yeo admitted after the game. It was here that he won the ABL Championship 2 seasons ago in front of a similar crowd. “I think will adjust and play better. Some of us, including myself, are not used play in such a big tournament at home before.”

The Malaysia players adjusted pretty well, as they went on to win in a landslide 95-42. There’s a possibility that Malaysia were able to maintain their energy throughout the entire game because of all the cheering that their fans continuously rained on them from the stands. 

“Very, very happy.” Yeo added about how he felt about the fans. “I can see that so many people turned up today. They came and supported us and I hope they will continue to support us.”