With the National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals under way in the US, many fans worldwide will be watching to see whether the Miami Heat can repeat for a second championship this year. As a die-hard basketball fan, it’s exciting to know that Cambodia now has a basketball league of its own.
The establishment of the Cambodian Basketball League (CBL) was created by the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, the Cambodia Basketball Federation, and in partnership with Beeline Arena (where the games are held). This is a monumental development in Cambodian sports, and one day the World Book Encyclopedia of Basketball will record that on June 1, 2013, Cambodia launched its first official basketball league.
“The goal of the CBL for this first year is to launch the structuring of basketball in the country, and expect the CBL to grow and have more and more teams, also outside Phnom Penh,” stated Michael Dibbern, Commissioner and Manager of the CBL.
“We also want to develop youth programs and a youth league, and our target is to globally increase the level of Cambodia’s basketball, and also the level of the Cambodian National Team.”
Twelve teams are vying for the championship title in December, and one team, the Post Buffaloes, has high expectations from its own teammates. Consisting of expats mainly from the US, where basketball is an intricate part of the culture, the Buffaloes lost a heart-breaking game in its debut last Saturday.
Anthony Gaglardi, general manager and Player for the Post Buffaloes said, “Losing barely by three nail-biting points was disappointing. However, this game was baptism by fire, with some players being away for work, as it strengthened our resolve as a team, with a unique comeback ability that could become the trademark of the Buffaloes in games to come.”
With basketball games (free!) every Saturday for the next six months, and a famous café/restaurant opening inside Beeline Arena very soon, spending a day with the CBL is going to be my ticket during the wet, monsoon season.