Horace Nguyen, formerly of the VBA champion Danang Dragons, was sighted at this past weekend’s Saigon Heat ABL matchup against the Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions. Having only played two games thus far, both Heat losses, the team from Saigon has shown improvement from their first game, however, additional help definitely wouldn’t hurt their 2016-2017 ABL season campaign.
As evident by the distribution of minutes from their previous two games, the Heat are essentially running a five man rotation with the starters averaging heavy minutes. It should come as no surprise, with the quality of individual play taking a drastic dip when alternating from starter to bench player.
In starting forward Lenny Daniel and new signee, starting center Herbert Hill who is temporarily filling in for Christien Charles until he comes back from injury, the Heat have a more than formidable front-line. The back-court isn’t much of a slouch either, but one thing is certain: the outside perimeter shooting needs to improve if the Heat want to open things up for their bigs inside.
You thought we forgot about Horace didn’t you? Well, during the 2016 VBA season, Horace proved that he was lethal from deep, leading the league in total three-pointers made and tying for third in three-point field goal percentage. He is also capable of hitting some big time shots during the course of a game, adding a much needed threat for Vietnam’s only ABL hope.
The addition of Horace Nguyen to the team is easier said than done. According to ABL rules, a team is only allowed two imports of non-ASEAN citizenship (Daniel and Hill/Charles), one ASEAN import (Munzon), and one heritage player (Arnold), with the rest of a team’s makeup comprising of local players.
This is a rather perplexing conundrum, as the addition of Horace Nguyen, in his current status, to the team, would have to count towards one of the positions already occupied by Daniel, Hill/Charles, Munzon, and Arnold. Seeing as the aforementioned players are already signed with the Heat, the prospect of Horace replacing one of them isn’t exactly feasible, barring a prolonged injury.
Call it a workaround, a loophole, or whatever makes you sleep better at night, but another possibility for the addition of Horace would be for him to receive full Vietnamese citizenship, which would technically qualify him as a “local” player since there are no limitations to this number (a team could theoretically be completely local).
With the strengths that Horace possesses in his game, on paper, he would be a good fit for a Heat team that struggles with outside shooting. The Heat should be in the works in trying to get Horace to become a member of the team for the ABL season, so don’t be surprised if he does happen to find a temporary home in Saigon.