The Malaysia Hoops Challenge organized by Negeri Sembilan Basketball Association (NSBA) (A state affiliate of Malaysia Basketball Association (NSBA) will be held from the 12th to 16th of September 2018 at MABA Stadium, Kuala Lumpur featuring NS Matrix, the KL Dragons, Red Baron, CLS Knights Indonesia, Adroit Singapore and the Western Australian SBL Select Team.

The tournament will be contested in a single round robin format.

Here are three talking points for the tournament:-


NS Matrix’s National Team Preparation

NS Matrix, who are also the organization tasked with managing the Malaysia Men’s National Team, will look to use tournament as part of their preparations for the second window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Pre Qualifiers scheduled for the end of November.

Finishing with a 2-3 record in the first window in June, the team will look to build on their chemistry through the Hoops Challenge in order to meet the goal of qualifying from the second window to move on to the main round of qualifiers.

National team captain, Kuek Tian Yuan will sit out due to injuries.

The NS Matrix managed Malaysia National Team will look at the Hoops Challenge as part of their preparations for the next window of 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Pre Qualifiers


ABL Pre Season Action

Two upcoming ABL Season 9 Teams, the KL Dragons and CLS Knights Indonesia will use the tournament to kick start their preparations for ABL. Both teams missed out on Season 8 Playoffs Qualification and will look to waste no time in beginning their preparations.

This will be the KL Dragon’s new head coach, Jamie Pearlman’s first assignment. Returning import, Chris Eversley will be the only Dragons player with ABL experience as Coach Pearlman will look to test his young line up in order to firm up which players will make the ABL Roster.

The Dragon’s first overseas born Malaysian heritage player, Calvin Tse will be making his debut for the Dragons at the Hoops Challenge

CLS Knights will be tipping off their new post Mario Wuysang era and will field an entire local line up with a majority of the players returning from their past ABL season. Key local, Sandy Kurniawan has opted to sit out from the tournament.

CLS Knights vs Westport Malaysia Dragons from ABL Season 8


A Chance for Imports to Impress

With plenty of opportunities across ASEAN including PBA, ABL, TBSL and IBL,  the tournament features an impressive imports line up who will be looking to impress nearby scouts. NS Matrix will showcase 6 ft 9, NBA G League Texas Legends big man, Anthony Walker and recent PDA D League Foundation Cup MVP, Jeff Viernes. Red Baron will feature former PBA and ABL Import, Sammy Monroe and ABL veteran, Thai American, Freddie Goldstein. Former TBL and TBSL Import, Jalen Robinson will also be suiting up for Adroit Singapore.

The other imports completing the line up will be New Zealand National Team player, Mike Karena (KL Dragons), Canadian Daniel Eves (Red Baron) and American Drelan Tripplett (Adroit Singapore).

Will Jeff Viernes be able to impress his way into a PBA or ABL contract?

For the full schedule and rosters, fans can check this link.