The national men's and women's
team posing for a photo.
Brunei will be sending a
youthful team to the 15th
Borneo City Men's Basketball
Invitational Tournament 2013
in Labuan next weekend.
Picture: BT/ Yee Chun Leong
It is the dawn of a new era for the national basketball team.
Brunei will be sending a youthful team to the 15th Borneo City Men's Basketball Invitational Tournament 2013 in Labuan next weekend.
They made history by winning the tournament for the first time two years ago and finished runners-up last year.
However, that isn't the whole aim for this year and national basketball coach, Kevin Reece, is looking at the bigger picture and feels that it is the right time to test his new batch of players at the annual competition.
"Brunei is looking good at the grassroots and youth levels. This was going to happen and I would have preferred it to happen in the first four years. We have already proven that we can win abroad as well as locally. It is time for a revamp," said Reece in an interview with The Brunei Times when met during a training session at the Multipurpose Hall of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas on Wednesday night.
"We are not looking to just prepare a team that can compete (for the Southeast Asian Games to be hosted by the Sultanate in 2019) but we are aiming to finish in the mid-table. We want to do better than ever," he said.
"There is plenty of time and room for us to improve. Everyone wants to learn and they are hungry. It is time for change. This is for the youth movement," continued the American.
There are around 21 players in his pool and he is looking to select 15 of them, whereby 12 will head down to compete at the July 26-28 tournament.
"There is an abundance of talent in KB (Kuala Belait) but they cannot reap the benefits with most of the training sessions happening in Bandar," said Reece.
"We hope that we will be able to solve the transportation problem. We are even looking to take trainings down to the Belait district," he added.
Reece is also looking to bring along a few senior players to help guide the younger players.
"We might be looking at bringing maybe three senior players to go along to complement the team. They will be there as mentors, an extension of me on the bench, on and off the court," explained Reece.
"The senior players (past and present), some have commitments while others have chosen to leave. We can't forget their contributions and it has given the new batch the opportunity," he said.
"I appreciate them for having played with us but this time, it is about the youth," continued the Los Angeles native.
Meanwhile, the women's national team have already confirmed their roster for the upcoming competition.
Reece is also handling the team and believes that they are ready for the outing.
"The girls haven't had the best opportunities. Coach Lim (Soon Hock) hasn't been in the best of health and there was no one to manage them. They are in the same situation as the men's team four years ago," said Reece.
"This year they are in good shape and are ready. They will be looking to play defence for the whole 40 minutes," he said.