UCSI hosts the Dragons~Westports Malaysia Dragons – the nation’s best basketball team

UCSI hosts the Dragons~Westports Malaysia Dragons – the nation’s best basketball team
 
KUALA LUMPUR: UCSI University’s (UCSI) ever-improving basketball team put on a credible show as they hosted the Westports Malaysia Dragons – the nation’s best basketball team – in a game that finished 56-82 in favour of the visitors.
Held at UCSI’s Kuala Lumpur campus, the game saw the Dragons fielding their first team squad – standing at an average height of around 2m – including star players Jason Brickman and Matthew Wright.
Acknowledging the monumental challenge ahead of them, team UCSI resolved to play against their opponent’s skills and not their reputations.
They then took the game to the Dragons in a 40-minute contest that showcased a plethora of skills. The order of the day: slam dunks, alley oops, deceptive fakes, jaw-dropping dribbles and courageous denies.
Although team UCSI gave their all, an upset result was a leap too far as the Dragons pulled ahead and eased their way to victory.
While the final score offered no surprises, the nature of how the game was scheduled did.
The Dragons initiated proceedings and by selecting UCSI, Malaysia’s premier basketball team chose a varsity team as a sparring partner for the very first time.
The Dragons currently lead the 2015-16 ASEAN Basketball League that features the best basketball teams in the region.
Describing the match as an insightful learning experience, UCSI basketball coach Vitalii Goncharenko said that he was pleased to see his chargers in action against a professional basketball team that is acclaimed in Asia.
“Getting experience against quality opposition was the priority today and not the result,” said Goncharenko who was a professional basketball player in the Ukrainian Basketball Super League in his heyday.
“That said, the boys put on a good show and I can’t complain about the score. It is the first time they are playing against a professional team – and not just any team! The Dragons are the best professional basketball team in South East Asia on current form and we gave them a few worries during the game.”
“I was quite shocked when they contacted us for this exhibition game. We certainly gave them one and I’m very honoured that the Dragons chose us as their sparring partners.”
He added that the Dragon’s presence on campus was a shot in the arm for UCSI in its efforts to promote sports and holistic learning.
Under Goncharenko’s watch, UCSI’s basketball team have undergone a Cinderella-like transformation from whipping boys to champions.
UCSI recently won the 3-on-3 basketball tournament organised by the Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities (MAPCU).

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