Basketball: Slingers' Neo Beng Siang named Asean Basketball League's Coach of the Year

Neo Beng Siang, Singapore's basketball team coach.
Neo Beng Siang, Singapore's basketball team coach. ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

The Singapore Slingers may have lost Game Two of the Asean Basketball League (ABL) Finals yesterday, but there was still time for some celebration, as two members of the team grabbed individual awards prior to the game.

Neo Beng Siang was named the ABL's Coach of the Year, after the Slingers made the final two for the first time since the league began in 2009. They finished second in the regular season with a 16-4 win-loss record, enjoying a 10-match winning streak in the process.

Point guard Wong Wei Long made it a double for the Slingers, securing the Most Valuable Player (local) award for the second year running, after averaging 12.1 points per game.

First-time winner Neo, who has been in charge of the team since 2011, said: "I am thankful for those who voted for me, and for the opportunity to coach and push the team."

The 47-year-old added that the results this year, along with his individual award, are testament to the team's progress over the years.

Wong, 27, said: "It's all about teamwork. My team-mates are the ones who give me open shots... when I'm down, they're the ones that bring me up."

The other finalists, Westports Malaysia Dragons, also had two award winners. Centre Reginald Johnson was named MVP (world import), while swingman Matthew Wright was named MVP (Asean heritage).

Hi-Tech Bangkok City's Christien Charles was named Defensive Player of the Year for the third consecutive year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 14, 2016, with the headline 'Neo named ABL's Coach of the Year'. Print Edition | Subscribe