HO CHI MINH CITY – After their acquisition of four Vietnamese Basketball Association (VBA) stars in Khoa Tran, Justin Young, Corey Cilia, and Chris Dierker, the Saigon Heat are showing no signs of stopping. Coming off a championship in his only third VBA season, Sang Dinh is surely an added firepower to the Vietnam-based squad.
Dinh averaged 13.3 ppg, 3.3 apg, and 4.8 rpg in the 2017-2018 season when he led the his VBA club, Can Tho Catfish, all the way to Vietnamese basketball glory. He is projected to bring the same amount of effort and hustle to the ABL as he signs with Saigon Heat, armed with his speed and craftiness under his sleeves.
“The ABL is the best league in Southeast Asia. It’s an honor to be here and to come here and represent Vietnam on the international level. I feel like that’s great for me and the country as well,” says Dinh.
With one of the league’s most enthusiastic and passionate fans rallying behind their backs, the Heat have made consecutive trips to the playoffs in the past seasons but have unfortunately failed to make it past the first round. This gives them enough reason to go all out once again this year.
“It’s gonna be a learning experience because it’s my first year in the ABL. Learn to get better and come back next season much stronger. That’s the main goal. And also, to win our first playoff game in franchise history. We wanna do that for the fans because they’ve been here for seven years and still we haven’t won a playoff game so I feel like that’s very important,” says Dinh.
Playing in an entirely different league means having to deal with another set of teammates, coaching staff, and even tougher opponents. In the Heat’s case, new faces comprise almost the entire team’s roster, which gives them the opportunity to capitalize on the new sets of skills and even fresher legs.
“Since we have new guys, it’s a nice fresh start. Everybody starts on the same page. We get to build a culture together. It’s just a great feeling to be a part of something like this,” he says.
“I’m a pure energy guy. I have a pretty smiling face off the court, and on the court, I’m gonna bring it and I will always have your back. Defensive player, as well as a three-point shooter. But I feel like my grit and my hustle will help the team to get past the next level,” Dinh adds.
Watch out for the Saigon Heat and Sang Dinh as they make their season debut against the CLS Knights on November 18, 2018 at CIS Arena in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Check out the full season schedule for the Saigon Heat here!