Another basketball tournament is going to kick off in the next few days, this time with the Chinese community in the Kingdom.
The 2019 Chinese Basketball Friendship Cup will open on Sunday at the Cambodian Country Club (CCC).
The opening of the Chinese tournament comes a week after the fifteenth season of the High School Basketball League (HSBL) rolled out at the National Training Center Gym.
Nathaniel Sy Gan, one of the organisers for the event, said a strong passion for basketball among the Chinese community here was the main reason for having the tournament.
Mr Gan said the event will also be an opportunity for the Chinese to network among members of their community.
“Our goal is to provide a way for all Chinese to have a weekend of recreation through playing in an organised and friendly basketball competition that will also enable them to expand their network among their fellow Chinese,” he stressed.
There are more than 200,000 Chinese nationals living in Cambodia, mostly in Sihanoukville, Phnom Penh, and Siem Reap. The Chinese are also the biggest investors in the Kingdom.
“For the opening, there will be not so much fanfare as this is just a pilot tournament for the years to come,” he stressed, hinting that more and bigger basketball events are planned for the future.
According to Mr Gan, there will be four teams competing in the tournament. These are Hua Yan, Hong Da, Beyond, and Han Ma.
“Each of the teams will be composed of 12-15 players,” he pointed out. “The games will be played from 2PM-6PM every Sunday.” The tournament will run until December.
The tournament, he said, will follow a double round-robin elimination format. “The top two teams will automatically play for the championship in a best-of-three series, while the last two teams will compete for third place,” he said.
Basketball is increasingly becoming popular in the Kingdom, a phenomenon that is helped by the presence of a big expat population, many of which come from countries where basketball is popular like the Philippines, the United States, China, Taiwan, Korea, Nigeria, and France.
The Cambodia Basketball League (CBL) is the major basketball tournament held regularly in the Kingdom. The latest season of the CBL concluded last month.
Among the foreigners, the Filipinos and the Chinese are the ones that have organised the most basketball tournaments.