Malaysia is the only team not named the Philippines to have won a gold medal during the history of SEA Games Basketball, winning in 1979 and 1989 when they played hosts. Malaysia also boasts the second best medal tally with two Gold, six Silvers and five Bronze.

Playing as hosts this year, the pressure is high on the team to perform yet again with expectations of getting back onto the medal podium, having missed out during the past three editions of basketball competition.

The team has been in preparation for the SEA Games even dating back to the beginning of the 2016/17 Asean Basketball League in November 2016. A conscious decision was made for Malaysian representative, the defending champion Westport Malaysia Dragons to play with one less import player than what is allowed by the league with the intention of giving local players extra minutes and valuable playing time to prepare for the SEA Games

With preparation that goes back 10 months before the start of the 2017 SEA Games, Malaysia will be looking to post results which will bring the team back within medaling ranks for the expectant home crowd.

   2017 SEA GAMES ROSTER

Head Coach, Cheng Huat Goh

#34 Center, Chee Li Wei (197 cm)

#6 Center, Chan Kek Thai (196 cm)

#2 Power Forward, Wong Chin Yong (196 cm)

#35 Power Forward, Perry Lim (195 cm)

#0 Power Forward/Small Forward, Kuek Tian Yuan (200 cm)

#41 Power Forward, Ivan Yeo (195 cm)

#11 Small Forward, Wong Yi Hou (191 cm)

#27 Shooting Guard/Small Forward, Ting Chun Hong (185 cm)

#20 Shooting Guard, Loh Shee Fai (192 cm)

#7 Point Guard, Teo Kok Hou (175 cm)

#1 Point Guard/Shooting Guard, Ma Chee Khuen (179 cm)

#4 Point Guard/Shooting Guard, Soo Eng Heng (183 cm)

   PROJECTED STARTERS

1. Teo Kok Hou (PG) – 175 cm

Westports Malaysia Dragons (ABL)

PHOTO CREDIT: KL DRAGONS

Teo made his ABL debut in 2016 and has been Malaysia’s starting PG in 2017, being one of the three players on SEA Games team that also played in the SEABA Championship earlier this year in Manila, which was highlighted with a 11 assists performance against Vietnam. Teo is a PG who has a diverse offense skillset showing strong ability in taking the basket to the hoop as well as being able to hit shots from outside (35% 3 PT shooting for ABL 16/17).

 

2. Ma Chee Khuen (SG) – 179 cm

Westports Malaysia Dragons (ABL)

PHOTO CREDIT: KL DRAGONS

Ma has been a regular in the Malaysian team over the past few years and was Team Captain for the Fiba Asia Championship in 2015. A member of the championship winning Westports Malaysia Dragons in the Asean Basketball League 15/16 season, Ma is an excellent shooter and a pesky perimeter defender who will be looking to give the other team’s guards a tough time.

 

3. Wong Yi Hou (SF) – 191 cm

Westports Malaysia Dragons (ABL)

PHOTO CREDIT: NORMAN GOH

Despite being only 21 years old, Wong is already one of Malaysia’s top offensive players with his lanky frame and speed. He was also member of the championship of the Westports Malaysia Dragons championship campaign in the 15/16 season, he has been playing for the Westports Malaysia Dragons since the age of 18 and look for him to throw down a few fast break dunks during the tournament as well.

 

4. Kuek Tian Yuan (PF) – 200 cm

Westports Malaysia Dragons (ABL)

PHOTO CREDIT: ASEAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE

Still only age 26, Kuek is already a veteran of the Malaysian national team playing for Malaysia since 2011. One of the tallest on the team, Kuek has developed his game over the years from being a stretch forward to showing strong ability to taking it to the rim and improving on his defense to defend the larger American players he constantly faces in his 6 seasons playing in the Asean Basketball League. Key member of the ABL y championship team in the 15/16 season. Kuek recently won the MVP Award in the recent installment of the Agong Cup, Malaysia’s premier all local basketball competition, leading his team, NS Matrix to the championship.

 

5. Chee Li Wei (C) – 197 cm

Malacca (Agong Cup)

PHOTO CREDIT: KUK THEW

Chee, age 34, will be the captain of the team. A true savvy veteran center, he’s one of the three members of the team who has won a SEA Games medal previously. One of three Malaysians who were sent to China to pursue his university degree, he had a successful university career winning 4 CUBA (Chinese University Basketball Association) titles. He spent 4 seasons playing for the Westports Malaysia Dragons in the ABL but retired from the team in 2013. He was persuaded by the head coach, Goh Cheng Huat to make a return for the SEA Games and has spent the last one year developing his game further and played a key role in the national team recent games.

   2017 SEA GAMES SCHEDULE

17:00 Sunday, August 20 vs Myanmar @ MABA Stadium

18:00 Monday, August 21 vs Thailand @ MABA Stadium

18:00 Wednesday, August 23 vs Philippines @ MABA Stadium

   NOTABLE MATCHUPS

Monday, August 21st vs Thailand

PHOTO CREDIT: FIBA BASKETBALL

Malaysia will be looking to defeat Thailand to solidify their chances of making it to the semi finals. They have not beaten Thailand in any competitive match for 10 years since the 2007 SEA Games. A close defeat at the SEABA Championship in Manila will motivate the team further to finally get a win over their neighbors to the north.

Wednesday, August 23rd vs Philippines

PHOTO CREDIT: FIBA BASKETBALL

Malaysian basketball has long lived under the massive shadow of the Phillipines and will be motivated to try to pick up the victory with the Spirit of the 1989 gold medal winning Malaysian team spurring them on.

   TOURNAMENT PROJECTION

Malaysia will have a strong challenge in both Thailand and Philippines with the team needing at least one victory against either team to secure a spot in the semi-finals. However, with the motivation of the boisterous home crowd  and a whole year of preparation in training and building team chemistry, including a playing tour of New Zealand and participation in tournaments with international competition, Malaysia will definitely have a strong opportunity at finishing on the podium.