LOOKING GOOD: Penang happy after boys enter final and girls the semi-finals
GEORGE TOWN: ALTHOUGH hosts Penang saw the MABA Challenge Trophy elude them in the recent 48th National Junior Under-18 basketball championships, they are happy with the results achieved by their players.
Penang Basketball Association (PBA) president Ooi Khoon Yeong said they achieved the association's targets, which were for the boys to reach the final, and the girls, the semi-finals.
The boys' and the girls' teams finished second and fourth respectively in the seven-day tournament, held at three venues comprising Han Chiang High School Indoor Stadium, the Chinese Recreation Club Gymnisium in George Town and the Seberang Jaya A-Zone Basketball Court in Seberang Perai.
The Han Chiang High School Indoor Stadium, which was inaugurated in conjunction with the 1st MABA National Junior Under-18 championships 48 years ago, underwent a facelift recently.
Penang's best performance in the competition was in 1987 in Miri, Sarawak, where the boys emerged champions while the girls were runner-up.
Khoon Yeong said he was especially proud of the boys' team who fought against all odds to reach the final.
"We have a young squad who will be still eligible to play in the Under-17 and Under-20 age-group next year.
"This is our goal to have a formidable team for the next Malaysia Games," he said.
Khoon Yeong said the Penang players may be rewarded with a holiday trip.
He said from next year, the annual national junior age-group championships will take a different format.
"The Under-18 category has been scrapped. From next year, the new format will be the boys' and girls' Under-15, Under-17 and Under-20.
"The national body wants the competition to be more proactive and wide, so that there will be a bigger pool of players available for the national team," said Khoon Yeong who is also MABA vice-president.
In the National Junior Under-18, Pahang won the boys' title after 29 years while Selangor defeated Kuala Lumpur to retain the girls' title for the fourth consecutive time.
Roll of Honour
Boys’ Top Scorer: Kong Boon Biao (Ked); Top Assist: Lim Chee Yong (Ked); Top Rebounder: Ong Chun Kai (Pg); Top Defender: Tan Hong Kang (Joh); Most Valuable Player: Kong Boon Biao (Ked); Most Valuable Player (final): Ng Cheng Tong (Pah)
Girls’ Top Scorer: Yap Yu Xin (KL); Top Assist: Ng Shi Yeng (Sel); Top Rebounder: Alies Lim Yee Shweng (Pg); Top Defender: Michelle Lee Chiew Yen (Sel); Most Valuable Player: Ng Shi Yeng (Sel); Most Valuable Player (final): Ng Shi Yeng (Sel)