Basketball: Thai stint a better fit for national basketballer Wong Wei Long after launch of academy

National basketballer Wong Wei Long (centre) will be conducting lessons at the Sports Hub Basketball Academy, a training programme that was launched at the OCBC Arena yesterday in a tie-up with his academy.
National basketballer Wong Wei Long (centre) will be conducting lessons at the Sports Hub Basketball Academy, a training programme that was launched at the OCBC Arena yesterday in a tie-up with his academy.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

After parting ways with the Singapore Slingers to focus on his Scholar Basketball Academy (SBA), national cager Wong Wei Long has been itching to return to competition.

The 29-year-old will get his wish after signing up with local club Adroit, alongside fellow former Slinger Toh Qing Huang, to take part in the semi-professional Thailand Basketball Super League (TBSL), a three-month competition that tips off at the end of the month.

Wong, a two-time Asean Basketball League (ABL) local Most Valuable Player, is the highest profile Singaporean to play in the event.

Match days in Thailand are on weekends and this fits his timetable better, Wong said at yesterday's launch of the Sports Hub Basketball Academy - a basketball training programme - in collaboration with his academy at the OCBC Arena.

"I can juggle my work and competition schedule easier than while I was with the Slingers, who are a professional organisation which required a lot more commitment than I can afford due to my work.

"This is also a good opportunity for me to keep fit for national team commitments.

"I had my doubts about the TBSL at first but, after watching some games, I felt the standards have improved in terms of the teams and their imports."

THE RIGHT BALANCE

I can juggle my work and competition schedule easier than while I was with the Slingers, who are a professional organisation which required a lot more commitment than I can afford due to my work.

WONG WEI LONG, national cager, on his foray into the Thailand Basketball Super League after leaving the Singapore Slingers.

Thai side Mono Vampire, who play in the ABL, won the inaugural TBSL title. This seasonwill comprise five Thai teams as well as clubs from Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos and Malaysia.

The Sports Hub programme is for players aged five to 18 and is categorised into different levels of expertise for more targeted coaching.

Each class will involve a variety of innovative drills and skills-specific trainings and are capped at a maximum of 20 trainees. Eight sessions cost $400.

It is understood that this is the first time the Sports Hub has launched a sports academy under its name, in addition to other sports and fitness programmes.

Sports Hub acting chief executive Oon Jin Teik said:"Through this partnership, we hope to expose the younger generations to the benefits of sports, and let them experience the state-of-the-art facilities that are also used by professional athletes."

• For more information, go to sportshub.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 06, 2018, with the headline 'Thai stint a better fit for Wong after academy launch'. Print Edition | Subscribe