JOHOR BAHRU, Malaysia (21st FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Women): Malaysian Choo Seck Yoon is a veteran of sorts in FIBA Asia age-group competitions for women. Therefore when she says that the task for Malaysia at the 21st FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Women starting in Johor Bahru on Saturday will be “uphill” it should be taken as a statement of reality.
“There are two clear disadvantages for the team. On in terms of the experience and another in terms of size,” the coach said as the team prepared to leave the Malaysian capital for the competition.
“Barring two players who are 18 years, the rest are all less than 17 years of age. Some of them even 16. The lack of experience when playing against the top four will be quite obvious,” she said.
“It is against Thailand and the qualifying games that the girls will be at their best. At least I hope so.
Choo Seck Yoon also rued the lack of size.
“We don’t have many players who are taller than 180-cms. In fact we have only one,” the coach said.
“A few of them are over 170 cms, but most of them are shorter than that,” she added.
Speed and stamina, therefore will be the backbone of the Malaysian campaign in front of a home crowd, according to the coach.
Malaysia have played some friendly games against teams from Chinese Taipei, the reigning FIBA Asia U18 bronze medalists in the women’s section.
Will that be enough to help Malaysia retain their place in Level I, which came after a hard fought win against Kazakhstan in the Level I qualifying game at the 20th FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Women at Surat Thani (Thailand) in 2010.
The next week will provide the answer.