Vietnam basketball league has new national champ

By Nhan Dat   September 19, 2019 | 08:50 am GMT+7
Vietnam basketball league has new national champ
Tavarion Nix of Saigon Heat (L) and DeAngelo Hamilton of Cantho Catfish in game five of Vietnam Basketball Association final, September 17, 2019. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Basketball Association.

Saigon Heat has been crowned champion of Vietnam Basketball Association (VBA) league for the first time.

Tears were shed during the thrilling final between Saigon Heat and Cantho Catfish in the latter's home ground in the southern Can Tho City on Tuesday.

The crucial game of VBA 2019 was decided by missed shots at important moments.

Cantho Catfish led 29-17 after the first round, but in the fourth, Saigon Heat was leading by 12 points. Cantho continued to fight, scoring 10 points consecutively, but with just a few seconds left, it was not enough to turn the tables around. The game ended 69-68 in Saigon Heat's favor.

Towards the end of the game, both teams committed many fouls, leading to many free throws. Saigon got the chance to close the game down, but Richard Nguyen missed both free throws before his teammate Du Minh An fouled Nguyen Phu Hoang of Cantho.

At this moment, the game had just 1.9 seconds left and the score was 69-68 for Saigon. If Hoang succeeded in both the throws, Cantho would have lifted the trophy. But under great pressure, Hoang missed both of his shots.

Saigon Heat player celebrate their first VBA title. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Basketball Association.

Saigon Heat players celebrate their first VBA title. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Basketball Association.

Many Saigon Heat players could not hold back their tears after their maiden win.

On the other side, Hoang of the defending champions cried for buckling under pressure at the most decisive moment of the tame. With the final 2-3 score, Cantho missed the chance to become the first team to win two VBA titles in succession.

The man of game five was Tavarion Nix of Saigon Heat, who scored 30 points, 20 rebounds and four successful recovers. With an average score of 23.2 points and 12 rebounds each game, Nix is also the leading nominee for the "Most Valuable Player" title for this season.

VBA, the official professional basketball league, was founded in 2016. The first title was won by Danang Dragons from the central city of Da Nang and the next by Thang Long Warriors in Hanoi. With the latest result, a different team has won the title each year.

 
 
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