Saigon Heat signs former NBA player

By Dang Khoa   December 21, 2019 | 12:20 am PT
Saigon Heat signs former NBA player
Gary Forbes is a new import at Saigon Heat. Photo courtesy of Saigon Heat.
Former NBA player Gary Forbes and Ohio State college basketball player Sam Thompson have become Saigon Heat's latest international signings.

The 34-year-old Panamanian professional Forbes has played over 100 games in the two years he was with the Denver Nuggets and Toronto Raptors in the National Basketball Association (NBA) league. The six-foot-seven player has an average of 5.8 points and 2.1 rebounds per game.

He has also participated in several different professional tournaments across Europe, South America and Asia. Before joining Saigon Heat, he was playing for Saudi Arabia's Al-Ittihad Club.

Kevin Yurkus, the team's head coach, deemed Forbes an important addition to Saigon Heat as they look to advance further in the 10th ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) season.

"Gary Forbes brings a high level of experience and toughness to Saigon Heat and ABL. As a veteran player who's played at the highest level, Gary's presence with Saigon Heat sets the bar very high for our entire organization. He's a versatile player who can help us in many ways. We're very excited to have Gary Forbes on the Saigon Heat (team)," the head coach wrote in a statement.

Sam Thompson, a 27-year-old player with the Ohio State College basketball team, is the team's third import for the season. The Chicago native has an explosive playing style; and an average of 15.0 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. He is highly valued for excellent lockdown defense in multiple positions and the ability to block shots.

Earlier, American player Chris Charles has signed up again for Saigon Heat after playing for them in the 2014-15 season.

There are 10 teams participating in ABL season 10 - Vietnam's Saigon Heat, Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur Dragons, Singapore Slingers, Hong Kong Eastern, Taiwan's Formosa Dreamers, the Philippines' San Miguel Alab Pilipinas, Thailand's Mono Vampire, Macau Black Bears, Macau's Wolf Warriors and a new face, Taipei's Fubon Braves.

This season, each team will play a total of 26 matches with 13 home and 13 away games.

Saigon Heat have entered the tournament's semifinals three times.

They start this season against Thailand's Mono Vampire on January 3, 2020 on home turf – the CIS Arena on the campus of the Canadian International School in Saigon's District 7.

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