Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 20th October 2011 – The Saigon Sports Academy (SSA) today officially announced the participation of SSA Saigon Heat into the AirAsia ASEAN Basketball League’s (AirAsia ABL) third season, making them the first ever international professional basketball team to represent Vietnam.
“Saigon Sports Academy is very proud to launch the first professional basketball team from Vietnam to participate in the AirAsia ABL,” Hoang Nguyen, Chairman of SSA, said. “The Saigon Heat will have a mix of top caliber players internationally and from Vietnam. Most of our players will be from Vietnam, and we expect to represent the country with great honor in the AirAsia ABL. The Saigon Heat will work hard together to bring home the championship trophy for Vietnam, and we hope that the team will also contribute to the development of basketball in Vietnam.”
“We are happy that our two year search has yielded a great partner in the SSA Saigon Heat.” Mr. Kuhan Foo, Chief Executive Officer of the AirAsia ASEAN Basketball League said. “With their strong background I believe that Saigon Sports Academy will be able to use the AirAsia ABL as a platform to breed and improve the best basketball players in Vietnam as well as create a higher aspiration for players to represent their country among their ASEAN peers on a weekly basis.”
The AirAsia ASEAN Basketball League’s third season is scheduled to tip off on the 14th of January 2012 and will feature defending champions the Chang Thailand Slammers and runner ups the AirAsia Philippine Patriots as well as season 2 competitors the Westports KL Dragons, Singapore Slingers and the Indonesia Warriors (formerly known as Satria Muda BritAma).
Apart from SSA Saigon Heat, there will also be two other new teams competing for the trophy in season 3, newcomers Bangkok Basketball Holdings from Thailand and PBA legends the San Miguel Beermen from the Philippines bringing the total participating teams for the AirAsia ABL’s season 3 up to eight teams from season 2’s six.
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About the AirAsia ABL
The AirAsia ASEAN Basketball League is a professional basketball league founded by Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr Tony Fernandes in response to what seems like a sports development scene in South East Asia that has stagnated. The idea of the league was to kick start a professional league that would be able to create strong teams that would be run as corporations and to ensure professional management, discipline and most importantly development of the game from a grass roots level. For more information, visit www.aseanbasketballleague.com .
About Saigon Sports Academy
Saigon Sports Academy (SSA) is a multi-sports training academy launched in January 2009 and located in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Its mission is to bring an international standard of sports training and competition to Vietnam in becoming Southeast Asia’s pre-eminent sports training academy. SSA currently has programs in Soccer, Tennis, Basketball, Swimming, and Chess, and trains over 900 students and athletes. Its focus has been training youth through sports to develop life skills such as leadership, teamwork, planning, and the value of hard work. In addition, SSA provides high-performance programs for players more serious about their game, wishing to pursue overseas university scholarship opportunities or becoming professionals. SSA also organizes tournaments, sports leagues, team-building activities, and coaching clinics for coaches outside of SSA. The launch of the Saigon Heat professional basketball team is designed to inspire Vietnam’s youth to not only improve their sporting skills, but also to to chase their own sports goals and dreams. For more information, visit www.saigonsportsacademy.com .