Realistic targets for Sukma cagers

KUCHING: Sarawak Sukma XIII cagers are looking forward to a fruitful outing in Melaka next year.

State chief Sukma coach Ng Swee Peng said the boys were aiming to reach the final while the girls were targeting a semi-final spot in the basketball competition.

He felt the targets set were within reach of the players.

“We cannot set too high a goal as we do not really know the strength of the other teams but I do believe our players are ready to put up a good fight,” he said on Friday night.

Ng picked Johor and Kuala Lumpur as the teams to beat, saying they would pose stiff competition to Sarawak. The boys’ team will be powered by two national youth players, Ma Chee Kheun and Hii Hiang Yik, and national Under-16 players, Benjamin Sim and Chung Yee Kai. Five players from Sukma XII will also be eligible.

As for the girls, Ng is banking on national youth player Wong Mei Chyn and Elite Centre players Narrisa Tay, Joy Tang, Huang Sing Yii, Regina Ting and Huang Ai Sin to lead the challenge.

“It will be a bonus if our girls could also reach the final,” he said.

Sarawak were the boys’ champions in Sukma 2006 while the girls finished runners-up. Basketball was scrapped in Sukma 2008.

According to Ng, the players have been training since October last year. The coaches in Kuching are Lau Boon Hui (boys) and Ong Seng Huat (girls) while their Sibu counterparts are Qiu Lian Hui (boys) and Ling Hung Ing (girls).

In Miri, Wee Cho Nam and Liew Sze Ling head the boys and girls’ training programmes while Tommy Lau coaches the boys’ team in Bintulu.

“We are now doing flexible long-term training, including gym work, weight, stamina, agility and skills training as well as mental preparation,” Ng said.

Both Lau Boon Hui, an advanced level coach, and Ong Seng Huat, a former national player, apply sports science in their training regime. The players train on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7.30pm to 9pm and are encouraged to turn up consistently.

Ng is pleased to note the players are showing strong commitment and high spirit during training.

The state Sukma shadow team will play in the National Junior Basketball Championship in Sandakan, Sabah, in December.

The first centralised training will wrap up after Chinese New Year while the second phase will be in April and May next year.

The shadow team (boys) comprise Teo Chi Kei, Leong Siaw Siang, Liew Yiik Lung, Ng Ming Kiong, Kueh Su Chun, Chung Joon Kiong, Chung Yee Kai, Chong Kong Jie, Hii Yiuk Kiang, Benjamin Sim, Ma Chee Kheun, Ho Shon Wee, Hii Hiang Yik, Lai Teck Bou, Ng Sing Tee, Ting Ming Yee, David Soon, Teo Wee Chung, Teddy Ting, Hii Lu Cheng, Hii Xiong Shi, Ting Yih Shiun and William Soon.

The girl players are Narrisa Tay, Joy Tang, Huang Sing Yii, Regina Ting, Huang Ai Sin, Phang Oi Ho, Kho Sui Feng, Ho Chai Fung, Chong Ik Mei, Chong Chon Fei, Phang Oi Kian, Chong Li Wen, Janet Sia, Wong Mei Chyn, Wong Kee Sian, Karen Sia, Chan Jia Min, Lau Tien Lin, Yeo Boon Chin, Teo Yi Wei, Thian Siaw Hui, Tang Chung Nie, Jessie Wong, Kong Ing Leong and Chin Li Xian.

The Sukma in Melaka will be from May 29 and June 8, 2010.

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