The Saigon Heat have officially announced that the team will be retaining Tran Dang Khoa, known to many Vietnamese fans as “Mr. Wiggle,” for the ninth season of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL).
In the team’s latest post via their Facebook page, Tran mentioned, “I’m very excited to be joining the Saigon Heat for the ABL. This is a great opportunity for my journey and even though this is a bigger league, I’m ready to prove to people that I can still compete at a young age.”
It didn’t take long for fans to know that they would soon be seeing Tran in a Saigon Heat uniform once again after the team was ousted in the first round of the Vietnam Basketball Association (VBA) playoffs for the third straight season.
Tran proved to be a top commodity for the Heat in 2018 alongside world import Tavarion Nix and local Trieu Han Minh, averaging 16.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game, while pacing the league in steals at 3.3 per contest. Since his entry into the league in its inaugural season back in 2016, Tran has shown steady progression both on and off the court, making perhaps his largest leap yet in 2018.
With the ABL’s announcement of heritage players now being eligible to play as locals, we’ll have to continue to wait and see just who the Saigon Heat will sign next to play alongside Khoa Tran and just how the additions will fit head coach Kyle Julius’ style of play. If his play from Vietnam’s professional domestic league can transfer to the ABL in any way, Tran’s signing is a good step in the right direction for Saigon Heat fans.