SIBU: The Sarawak women’s basketball team are going to Perak as the underdogs in next month’s Sukma XIX.
They are drawn in Group A with Selangor, Johor, Terengganu and Pahang and picking up a medal will be quite a tall order.
In Group B are Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, Perak, Negeri Sembilan and Penang.
Head coach Lim Hoon Eng, a former national captain who played as centre-cum-power forward for the country for six years, said her team is determined to give their best shot in Perak.
“We are going to Sukma as the underdogs as we have not set any high target this time.
“We will try our best to bring honour to our State even though we have no exposure trip unlike our boys who went to Australia,” she said.
Lim revealed that she has a balanced team with the majority of the players aged 20 while two are aged 14.
They are strengthened by the return of two cagers from overseas. They are Rachel Kelly Wong (captain) and Wong Chin Yi from a university in Chinese Taipei.
“Basketball has taken a back seat in Sarawak as other teams in West Malaysia have improved very fast.
“Our players are mostly from the Catholic High School in Sibu with nine in the state squad. Thanks to the Catholic High School which is very active in the sport,” added Lim.
Despite the setbacks, she believes that an emphasis on team discipline and teamwork can help Sarawak to give the other teams a good run for their money.
The state’s best achievement was a silver medal at Sukma Kedah in 2006.