In the first match at the FIBA Asia 2025 preliminary round (FIBA Asia Cup 2025 Pre-Qualifiers), the Vietnamese basketball team (world No. 139) surpassed Tahiti (World No. 93) with a 43-point difference. Sharing his feelings after a surprise victory over an opponent more than 46 places on the FIBA rankings, coach Matt Van Pelt said: “I am very excited and happy when the team won the opening match. This is even more amazing because the whole team contributes so much. This is a perfect win.”
Vietnam’s basketball team won the first round of the Asian tournament
In this strong victory, all Vietnamese pitchers who were allowed to play on the field got points. In which, there are 3 players with more than 10 points: Nguyen Huynh Phu Vinh (20 points), Khoa Tran (17 points) and Huynh Vinh Quang (12 points).
“I think Phu Vinh is one of the best players in Vietnam right now. He is a striker but has a very good three-pointer ability and showed that in the game against Tahiti. Phu Vinh has gained more confidence when competing internationally. Huynh Vinh Quang comes from the bench and brings a very positive energy. He proved why he won the title of internal athlete of the year at VBA 2022. As for Khoa Tran, he did what I expected,” coach Matt Van Pelt praised the students.
Coach Matt Van Pelt praised the performance of the players
In addition, coach Matt Van Pelt also commented on the opponent and the next goal of the team: “I have great respect for Tahiti’s performance. They played very hard and kept us in a difficult position in the first two innings. We are happy with the victory but also realize that there are still flaws that need to be improved. The team has a day off to recover and research the next opponent, the Thai basketball team. Our goal is to advance to the next round. Of course it would be great to win all four games. If we can go through and play in the second qualifying round in February 2023, we will be very happy.”
On the official page of FIBA, the performance of the Vietnamese basketball team after nearly 60 years of returning to the continental playground is also recorded. After more than half a decade, the Vietnamese basketball team marked their return with an impressive performance when they defeated Tahiti with a score of 84-41 in the opening match at the UG Arena. They have up to 3 good players scoring over 10 points. The statistics don’t lie when they forced Tahiti to lose the ball 25 times and converted these balls into 29 points.”
Khoa Tran (left) and Huynh Vinh Quang played impressively in the colors of the Vietnamese basketball team
After this result, the Vietnamese basketball team still has 3 challenging matches against the Thai, Mongolian and Malaysian basketball teams taking place from November 12 to 14, respectively. The Vietnamese basketball representative needs at least third place to advance to the next preliminary round.