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Vietnam basketball takes leap forward with improved and successfully held National Championship

Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) - On April 1, the 2019 National Championship held by the Vietnam Basketball Federation (VBF) was successfully concluded. The Phòng không - Không Quân (Air Force) team won the men’s championship while the Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh (Ho Chi Minh City) secured the women’s championship title. Aside from the two victors of the competition, it could also be said that everyone in the Vietnam basketball scene came out as “winners” from this event.

“Differed from previous National Championships in Vietnam, this year’s tournament applied several new technical and promotional tools to increase the quality and the exposure of the tournament towards the audience,” explained Le Hoang Anh, secretary general of the VBF.

“Some highlights are implementing the 2018 FIBA Rules; live-streaming all 40 games on the Federation’s official Facebook page; investing more in tournament branding, POSMs, photos and organizational board.

“Especially, this is the first time ever the National Championship used Livestats tool from FIBA Organizer to continuously update every game statistic, standings and team records. Each new thing is believed to be one step forward to level up the technical side of basketball in Vietnam and the exposure towards community.”

Vietnam has continued to make leaps and strides forward in the basketball scene, whether it is the national team or at the professional level. Their next big advancement was making the National Champion more convenient to access to a Vietnamese population of nearly 100 million via live-stream.

“For the first time, all 40 games of the National Championship were live-streamed on the Federation’s official Facebook page. This live-streaming provided huge sorts of content such as statistics, game information, results and standings to the media and the audience. With live access to the tournament, the basketball fans and audience could experience every minute of every game and enjoy the games from far,” added Le.

The sides that benefitted from the live feeds of the game were not only the fans, but also other groups that are involved in developing the sport in Vietnam.

“For the media, the existence of live-streaming significantly increased the interaction between the basketball community throughout the country and the Federation. It contributed to the development of the mass fan-base and would benefit the future basketball development programs and events in Vietnam.

“For the technical improvement, the organizer could review every record of the game and could supervise, evaluate and advise the referees. That communication would leverage the officiating quality for the team here in Vietnam,” concluded Le.

(Nguyen Thanh Dat)

With live-stream, fans can now get to watch some of the top talents in Vietnam like never before. Fans could now watch exciting stars like the twins, Nguyen Thanh Dat and Nguyen Phu Hoang, as well as up-and-coming big man Huynh Phu Vinh Nguyen, who was one of the best players in the championship with averages of 11.1 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game. There are plenty of players with potential to unearth in the Vietnamese talent pool and the strengthening of the National Championship by the VBF is a positive step forward to identifying those talents.

“The National Championship is the most important tournament in the national basketball system. Participating teams always prioritize the best players with the best conditions to compete in this tournament, which happens only once a year,” Le explains.

“The technical team from the Federation, therefore, could observe to point out talented and outstanding individuals, who could be further developed and recruited to the National team to compete in regional or international tournament. Along with the development of basketball community, the Vietnam Basketball Federation also focuses on building up a strong and talented national team aiming to higher achievements in big sports events.”

Among the most important factors of the rapid developments of Vietnam basketball are the fans. Already know as one of the most passionate fans in the region, the VBF recognizes and has made it a priority to grow and further establish the following of the sport.

“Basketball is not a new sport, but it has been one of the most developed one in the country in recent years,” Le says. “By successfully establishing the pro-league VBA (Vietnam Basketball League) from 2016, the audience had chances to experience the sports entertainment model in basketball. This was brand new model compared to the way of doing any other sports in Vietnam.”

Saigon Heat, the country’s first professional club, was established in 2011 and gained popularity for the sport by participating in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL). Fans attending the games would not be entertained by only the competition itself, but by other aspects to get everyone involved in on the fun. The model was then used in the VBA, where basketball was able to reach out to other major cities throughout the whole country in a home-and-away competition format. The fans were not hesitant to shower plenty of love back to the teams and the sport itself.

“If you ever watched the VBA or the ABL where the Saigon Heat team represents Vietnam in the regions, you would realize the passion and excitement that the crowd brings out to every single game. We could be proud that basketball fans in Vietnam is among the most passionate crowd in the Southeast Asia region.

“The good news is the number of basketball fans in Vietnam is increasing, along with the rapid development of basketball community. We hope to see more Vietnamese people falling for basketball, and for sports in general.”

For as far as the VBF and Vietnam basketball have come, there is still a lot room to develop the sport. The future is bright and the VBF are determined to get Vietnam basketball as far as they can in the scene.

“In the future, we believe that basketball in Vietnam would comprehensively develop in the community and the international level. The Vietnam Basketball Federation (VBF) targets to make basketball the second most popular sport in Vietnam, and to make the national team the strongest team in the region.

“To implement these targets, The VBF has been strongly developing basketball in schools, expanding and leveling up the quality of the professional Vietnam basketball league. Besides, VBF also progresses in international relations, strengthens the financial potential to become the best sport federation in Vietnam.

“The VBF would thank the International Olympic Committee, the International Basketball Federation, the FIBA Asia and FIBA SEABA for their continuous support. The VBF would hope for more financial and technical support to bring targets and plans to reality.”