(Top) Liew Chee Jean goes for
a layup during a training
session last night at the
Multipurpose Hall, Hassanal
Bolkiah National Sports
Complex. (Above) Coach Reece
puts the players through
their paces. Picture: BT/Yee
Kevin Reece views the Borneo Games as a great opportunity for the national under-21 basketball team.
The national basketball coach is hoping that his charges will seize it and be able to identify what kind of player they are.
Brunei will be up against hosts Labuan, East Kalimantan and Sabah in the basketball event which will be held in the round-robin format from Sept 15-17.
The team trains three times a week at the Multipurpose Hall of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas and he believes that there is a good chance to do well.
"This is the greatest opportunity for the young fellas (sic) to continue with their basketball aspirations. This team is a new field of players who have never gone out and play," said Reece in an interview with The Brunei Times when met last night.
"It is like starting from scratch. These are the youths identified for the future.
"Now that they have an opportunity they should seize it. I hope that the players can become confident with what they can do," added the American.
"This is not a bad bunch of kids and I'm looking to work with them in the long run.
"There is no pressure and there is nothing to lose. We will work on whatever we need and it is part of the learning process," continued the Los Angeles native.
The team managed to get a warm up by competing in the 15th Borneo City Men's Basketball Invitational Tournament 2013 in late July.
They were accompanied by three senior players and managed to win the bronze after beating the under-21 Labuan side at the competition.
Reece has been working on his trademark defence and he feels that the players are in good shape.
"We are a small team but we are in shape to play good defence. We are on the right track," said Reece.
"We have also been working on our half court sets at both ends. Players know their roles and should do what they need to do," he added.
The national basketball coach is also glad that he has put more time for the youths this year.
"Some people might have felt that this year is a down for basketball but it is a youth movement," said Reece.
"It has given the seniors rest and time to recover. So next year we can have some of the youths join in with the core players," he added.
"Hopefully the seniors who are looking to make a return have worked hard to keep in shape because no place is secure," continued the LA Lakers fan.
In addition, Reece is also looking to have grassroots basketball held in both the Tutong and Belait Districts next year before tapping into the Temburong District in the future.
"The BBA (Brunei Basketball Association) is supportive of the grassroots and junior programme. We are on target as the foundation is growing stronger," he concluded.