Malaysian powerhouse club NS Matrix will be returning to the Thailand Basketball Super League (TBSL) in 2020 for the team’s second season.
The regional league, which takes place in Bangkok, Thailand, also features notable teams from neighboring countries. In addition to NS Matrix, the clubs slated to compete are Indonesia’s BBM CLS Knights, Singapore’s Adroit, Laos’ Luang Prabang, Brunei’s Brunei Pegasus, Vietnam’s Mekong United, the Philippines’ ZNO Eagles and Makabayan Warriors, and Thailand’s Hi-Tech and Dunkin’ Raptors.
Despite the league allowing teams to field four imports (three ASEAN heritage imports and one world import), NS Matrix has opted for an all locals roster, headed by Filipino head coach Jeff Viernes.
In its previous campaign, the Malaysian club showed tremendous grit and determination, as the young team able to put up hard-fought efforts against opponents laden with imports across multiple games.
“I think playing in the TBSL with just our local players is good for us because we have a lot of young players who can gain experience by playing against some of the top basketball clubs from other countries,” Viernes shared.
24-year-old Wong Yi Hou will look to be the team’s go-to player in the upcoming campaign after averaging 14.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game in NS Matrix’s previous TBSL season. The 6-foot-3 swingman is perhaps best known for his aggressive shooting and lanky frame on defense on the international stage.
And while Wong is expected to have a breakout season in terms of production, he will also be counted on in taking a larger responsibility when it comes to leading his teammates on and off the court.
Rounding out NS Matrix’s 2020 TBSL roster are national standouts Chang Zi Fueng, Ooi Xian Fu, Foo Ting Jun, Chin Zhi Shin, Heng Yee Tong, Ong Wei Yong, Teo Kok Hou, De Wee Yiang, and Liew Wei Yuong.
A glaring omission from the team is marquee player Ting Chun Hong, who is currently on loan to the Kuala Lumpur Dragons in their pursuit of an ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) title. Malaysia’s star two-way player will not be suiting up for Matrix in its upcoming TBSL campaign.
“I am hoping this TBSL will give our players, especially the young players valuable experience, so it can help them develop their talent,” Viernes said when asked about expectations for his local players. “It’s going to help us a lot in the futute.”
NS Matrix will play its first game against the Dunkin’ Raptors at Nimibutr Stadium in Bangkok on February 8th.
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