Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Dolli joins national team

Dolli joins national team

Dolli joins national team

110209_22
Austria-based Cambodian Steffan Doll-Therro Sao shoots during a practice session watched by national basketball team assistant coach Kao Kannaly at the National Sports Complex on Monday.

Austria-based Cambodian basketball player Steffan Doll-Therro Sao has committed himself to representing his fatherland after meeting with national team coach Austin Koledoye last Thursday. “I am excited with the opportunity to don the colours of my country,” said the 29-year-old point guard who plays for Austrian First Division side FCN-Baskets of Neustadt.

With the national team billed to participate in the 26th SEA Games in Indonesia this November, Koledoye’s squad are set to face the likes of Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei, all of which boast domestic leagues and have sides that participate in the AirAsia ASEAN Basketball League.

“We are handicapped as our players train hard but have no chance to be exposed to international competitions, hence the opportunity to have Cambodian born foreign players would surely be a morale booster,” said Koledoye.

Cambodia lost all four games at their last SEA Games appearance in Bangkok in 2007.

“We had only one foreign based player at Thailand 2007 which was not good enough. Had we had three to five foreign players, we surely could have come out with a better performance,” added the coach.

Steffan Doll-Therro Sao, who goes by the nickname Dolli, joined a score of national team players and other locals for a training session on Monday evening at the outside court of the National Sports Complex under the watchful eyes of Koledoye and his assistant Kao Kannaly.

“I just want to play ball. To wear the Cambodian jersey will be a dream come true for me,” said Dolli.

“It’s all about patriotism. I am not coming for the financial gains as I know the situation here already. Helping my country to win something in the SEA Games will give me great pride, which is my main motivation.”  

Kao Kannaly admitted that Dolli is a good player and would be a good addition to the team after watching him play. “He looks sharp and has good movement, his positioning is also fantastic and we hope he can fit into the national team set up which will be very good for us going into the SEA Games”

Coach Koledoye is expected to submit a shortlist for the national team by February 15 to the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports, with official training to commence from March. “It has been nearly a year since the players trained seriously and so most of the players must be rusty by now. We will have our work cut out once we start full training again,” he said, adding that he intends to play some friendly
matches against national teams and clubs from the region.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman