Monday, January 14, 2013

Basketball body set to unveil Neo as men's head coach

Source: TODAY

SINGAPORE - The Basketball Association of Singapore (BAS) are set to install Singapore Slingers coach and former international Neo Beng Siang (picture) as head coach of the national men's team on a permanent basis.

And TODAY understands that the imminent appointment of the 45-year-old, who led the men's team at the 2011 SEA Games in Jakarta, is being made in view of this year's SEA Games in Myanmar.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Singapore Slingers' 56-50 victory over Thailand Slammers in their opening ASEAN Basketball League match at the Singapore Indoor Stadium yesterday, BAS General Manager Jee Yoke Chun said the choice of Neo was never in doubt.

"There is no hurry to name him as the national men's team (head) coach as he is currently coaching the Singapore Slingers in the ASEAN Basketball League, but we will do it soon," said Jee.

The Slingers, Singapore's only professional basketball side, have seven members of the national side in their ranks - Desmond Oh, Damien Goh, Ng Han Bin, Wu Qingde, Wong Wei Long, Lim Sheng Yu and Delvin Goh.

The choice of Neo follows the appointment of China-born Mao Haibin as head coach of Singapore's national women's squad in September last year.

Jee added that the BAS are planning to meet with the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) and submit their reasons why the Republic's national men's and women's teams should be selected to participate at this year's SEA Games in Myanmar.

At the last Games, the men's team failed to reach the semi-finals after losing two of their three group matches. They were beaten by Malaysia (67-59) and Indonesia (80-75) but defeated Myanmar 91-74. They then beat Vietnam 91-48 in the play-offs for fifth position. The women's team did not compete.

"In our report to the SNOC, we will outline the national teams' training plans, friendly matches and the tournament we will play to convince them that we deserve a ticket to the (2013) SEA Games," said Jee.

"Since we are going to host the 2015 SEA Games, we need to put up a good challenge to the rest, and going to Myanmar is part of the team building process.

"I am confident the SNOC will give us a fair hearing." Dan Guen Chin

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