Following two years of speculation, Vietnamese-American forward Tam Dinh is finally set to join the Saigon Heat and make his ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) debut in the upcoming 2019-20 season.
Dating back to 2017, when he agreed to a multi-team deal to play for the Can Tho Catfish (VBA) and Vietnam Men’s National Basketball Team, fans have been anticipating the ABL debut of Tam Dinh with the Saigon Heat as it was also one of the three teams included in that May ’17 signing.
However, roadblocks eventually scrapped his addition to the Heat’s ABL roster during the past two seasons, while in the meantime, the 29-year-old went on to three consecutive VBA Finals with the Catfish and helped represent Vietnam during the 2017 SEA Games and 2019 FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup tournaments.
Since entering the VBA during its inaugural season in 2016, Dinh has long been considered by many as the league’s top heritage player due to his elite athleticism and unrivaled ability to score from anywhere on the floor. Now set to play in ABL 10, he will be reunited with new Heat and former Catfish head coach Kevin Yurkus, who led him to his first two VBA Finals appearances, including a championship title during the 2018 season.
“It’s about god damn time, f— boys!” Dinh laughingly told ASEAN Sports regarding his signing with the Heat. “Look at me… I’m the captain now.”
Despite coming off a disappointing finish to his most recent finals appearance, in a series where he was marred by injury, Dinh had his best season in 2019, averaging a career-high of 24.5 points per game on 54.8 percent shooting from the field and 36.6 percent from deep. He was awarded league MVP at the end of the season.
Though the majority of the Saigon Heat roster has yet to be announced, Dinh will be joined by world imports Gary Forbes and Sam Thompson, with the possibility of reuniting with younger brother and Catfish teammate Sang, who debuted for the Heat in 2018-19, in the upcoming season.
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