by John

Basketball Association of Singapore (BAS) last minute pulled out of 2017 FIBA Under-16 Women’s Asian Championship

My daughter received a sudden whatsapp message from the association on 8 August to inform her and the team that they are not heading to Chennai for the 20176 FIBA Under-16 Women’s Asian Championship (one of the biggest international competition for our local players to represent Singapore), which they have been preparing and training for despite having upcoming O and N Level examinations. Players were told and attracted to join the National U16 Girls team because of this competition and all of a sudden, the country is pulling out without any explanation.

I feel that the association was very irresponsible in this situation and they just killed the dreams of the young basketball stars, whom might eventually represent the national women’s team in future. With the basketball sports scene already looking gloomy in Singapore, especially for girls, BAS just made things harder, they made us parents and the kids lose faith in the sport and I really wonder how many of them will continue to have basketball dreams and try to do our nation proud? All BAS did was to send a message, immediately stop all trainings and that was it. Even the coach was only informed the night before they sent the message.

After all, they are just U16 girls. There was a major lack of closure and the association did not even bother to talk to the parents, or explain the situation, and we might be able to come up with a solution altogether. However, they just pulled out with no respect to players, coaches and parents. How are we going to trust them again and entrust our children in their hands, hoping they will groom them to better players, and better people, when they displayed such irresponsible behaviour?

From what I understand, some of the players started from U14 stage, which began in November 2015 and if we really count the months and years, they have already spent one and a half years, trying hard to fight for a dream to represent their country. From then until now, they only went on a Malaysia training trip, which they focused very much on age and only wanted the current 16 year olds to play and perform. I already felt it was ridiculous because I do not believe sports is about how old you are but how good you are.

So, the current 15 year olds felt so dejected and discouraged when they came back from the trip, they started to doubt themselves. It took us parents awhile to tell them to pick them up and eventually we encouraged them to try for the U16 team again. They went, tried harder and suddenly was informed that they were wasting their time because Singapore is not going to compete in FIBA U16 Women’s Championship.

How are we going to tell them to train harder, player harder when the Basketball Association of Singapore is a joke?

Mr Ong is referring to Mr David Ong, former Member of Parliament for Bukit Batok SMC and current President of BAS.


The Online Citizen has called up the person in charge who sent the message to verify the withdrawal on Wednesday but the person said that he was not in the position to make a comment. After TOC made several calls to BAS to seek their confirmation on the withdrawal, BAS eventually said on Thursday that they are looking into the matter and did not give any further information in regards to the alleged withdrawal.

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