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"Chew Yong Yong and Kew Suik May are strong players who can play defensive as well as offensive. I hope both of them will recover before the Korat SEA Games," he told Bernama when contacted today.
Tan said the South-East Asia Basketball Association (SEABA) Championship which would be held in Singapore from Sept 4 to 9, would be the last international tournament for the team before representing Malaysia in the Korat SEA Games.
"The tournament will give us the opportunity to meet hosts Thailand and also the favourites for the gold in women's basketball, the Philippines," Tan said, adding that his team had yet to meet any other from the SEA Games participating countries since the 2003 Vietnam SEA Games, where Malaysia emerged champion. Women's basketball was not competed in the Manila Sea Games in 2005.
He said Singapore also remained a threat as they might be fielding Chinese-born players to land them the gold, which they had done in previous SEA Games to much dissatisfaction among the other countries.
The national team recently won the gold medal at the biennial Arafura Games in Darwin, Australia. The team clinched their first gold in 2001 and managed silver in 2003 and 2005 at the Games. The Arafura Games is a sporting event held to cater for the smaller nations in the Pacific.
After the Arafura win, the national team competed with Level I teams like Taiwan, China, Japan and South Korea in the 22nd Fiba Asia Women Basketball Championship in Incheon, South Korea but lost all their matches.
"Although we were defeated in all matches it was still a good outing for the girls. They gained a lot in terms of experience but I feel disappointed when my players are down because of injury," Tan said.
He noted that the national squad for the Korat SEA Games would only be submitted a week before the Games started.
"This will give the junior players a chance to prove themselves. The National Championships from Aug 8 to 26 in Jerantut, Pahang will be their last opportunity to book their tickets for Korat," he added.
Fourth is no good enough