With the 2018-2019 ASEAN Basketball League season fast approaching, the Saigon Heat have gone on a roster-announcement spree during the past few weeks. As it stands, the team is currently made up of many familiar Vietnam Basketball Association (VBA) faces.
The Heat continued their add-happy trend after signing on Sang Dinh, fresh off his third season of the VBA with the Can Tho Catfish, where he helped lead his team to the 2018 championship.
During the 2018 season, Dinh averaged 13.3 points, 3.3 assists, and 4.8 rebounds per game, with his best statistical season as a professional coming in the 2017 season, where the lanky guard averaged 14 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per contest.
“I think he is incredibly raw and talented,” said Heat head coach Kyle Julius on his newest guard. “I’m looking forward to working with him to see where he really is at. I know his energy and effort is there, so it will be interesting to see where his overall feel for the game is at, at a level like the ABL.”
It was initially thought that Sang would forego the ABL’s ninth season in favor of the Thailand Basketball Super League (TBSL), especially since his older brother Tam would not be joining the Saigon-based team, however, the younger Sang ultimately felt that the opportunity would give him a chance to grow as a professional.
“I would personally like to thank Henry, Connor, Mr. Nam, and Coach Julius for giving me an opportunity to play in the ABL,” replied the Houston native when asked about his jump to the ABL ranks.
“Any opportunity in the ABL is a big deal and I couldn’t be more grateful. I think there are many talented athletes on the team that each bring their own individuality to the game [and] if we all buy into the system, work hard, and learn from one another, then I believe that we will get the Saigon Heat that first playoff win in the franchise’s history.”
Not only would suiting up for the Heat in the ABL offer greater exposure to talent and competition from within the region, but with the amount of traveling that players undertake throughout the season, it also opens doors which playing in the VBA or TBSL may not offer, a point which Dinh did not overlook when accepting the offer.
“Now don’t get me wrong, it’s going to be tough, so we’re just going to have to take it one game at a time, but I’m definitely looking forward to this season, traveling, meeting new people, and representing Vietnam on an international level.”
“So stay tuned. This will be an exciting time for Vietnamese basketball.”
Vietnamese basketball fans, and especially Saigon Heat fans should be delighted for the upcoming ABL season after the assembly of their team’s strongest roster to date. After all, it’s just the kind of star-studded roster that they’ve been hoping for.