THE Cambodia Basketball Federation (CBF) has announced its plan to organise the first ever 3-on-3 competition in the Kingdom. The tournament will be held December 3-6 at the National Sports Centre at Olympic Stadium.
Lim Sam Kol, president of the CBF, stated during the announcement that the purpose of the competition is to find and select strong local talent to participate in upcoming national and international tournaments, adding that he wanted to see participation from associations, institutions and members of the general public, both as teams and individuals.
According to Mak Chanphirun, general secretary of the CBF, the federation along with Nigerian-born national team coach Augustine Koledoye, had intended to send the national squad to the upcoming SEA Games in Laos in December, but sadly the host nations had omitted the sport due to lack of facilities. “Cambodia and other countries are not happy about that,” said the secretary.
Mak Chanphirun added that at present, Cambodian youths are not particularly interested in basketball, so the federation aims to promote the sport through the competition, and allow players to showcase their skills.
Cambodia has competed just twice in basketball at the SEA Games, in 1999 and 2007. Mak Chanphirun said the performance of Cambodian squad has improved a lot. “Even though we were the lowest ranked side at the 2007 SEA Games in Thailand, our opponents found it difficult to beat us,” he remarked. “The Philippines are the top team in basketball in the region, but during the last SEA Games in Thailand, they could not score heavily against Cambodia like they did against Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.”
Currently the CBF has made contact with three Cambodian-American players living in the US who play at university level. “We really need the tallest players,” the secretary said. “At the SEA Games, our boys are smaller than other neighbouring nations’ players, and also smaller than the women on teams from other countries.”
According to Mak Chanphirum, the CBF welcomes all Cambodians willing to compete in the tournament, and expects to find some fresh talent. Application forms for teams can be obtained at the CBF office inside Olympic Stadium until November 29.
Winners of the tournament will receive gold medals and a cash prize of 1.2 million riels (US$289), while runners-up collect silver medals and 800,000 riels, and third placers get bronze medals and 400,000 riels.