Malaysia XI gears up for Savio Cup basketball tourney

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Mumbai, Nov 25 (UNI) Malaysia's junior National women's squad today promised an impressive campaign in the prestigious third All India United Phosphorous Savio Cup Basketball tournament for men and women, organised by the Don Bosco Recreation Centre, at Don Bosco High School here.

The Malaysians, with a blend of members from their under 18 and under 16 squads, were pleasantly surprised by the cool weather in the city and said they were here to play their best and keep the basketball enthusiasts entertained with a blend of speed and skill.

''We are very delighted with the conditions at Don Bosco. The weather in Malaysia is similarly cool,'' revealed team manager Liew Hai Lam, after inspecting the international standard Terraflex courts.

''We have several skilled players who are capable of penetrating and shooting and that's what counts,'' he said.

''We can't predict the results, though. We don't know much about the other teams. But we'll try to entertain the spectators,'' Lam promised.

The participation of the visitors in the tournament was part of the Malaysian Basketball Association's dream programme of building their national squads.

''Basically, these players are from the academy back home where they are trained for a year,'' he explained and said ''This is a very good opportunity for these players, who come from all over Malaysia's 14 states, to put into practice what they have been taught by their coaches in the academy.'' Lam revealed that the senior squad were due to play in this competition, but were also warming up to play in the South East Asian Championships next week.

He said Malaysia's senior squad were always top contenders in Asia. Though they were not in the top four outside Asia, they were making efforts to break into the top eight, he added.

Lam said the youth training programme in Malaysia receives immense support from the Malaysian government.

Apart from promising an entertaining display, the Malaysians vowed to watch films of Bollywood kings Shah Rukh Khan and Amir Khan before they depart for home.

UNI

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