Thursday, 07/09/2023 11:28

Saigon Heat to play Thanglong Warriors in Playoffs


Saigon Heat coaches and players receive the trophy after taking the No 1 place of the Regular Season. Photos of VBA

HÀ NỘI — Playoffs of the 2023 VBA will begin on September 7 with the Regular Season leader Saigon Heat visiting Thanglong Warriors at the Tây Hồ District Gymnasium in Hà Nội.

After beating Ho Chi Minh City Wings in the last match on September 3, the Heat topped the table with 14 wins and four losses.

Coach Matt Van Pelt said he was happy as the defending champion took the leading place and was the number 1 seed in the playoffs. Playing with only one foreigner was really a challenge but his team did good job. 

As per regulations, the Heat will play fourth-place Warriors who secured 11 wins and seven losses. This meet will be a repeat of the 2020's final when the Heat beat the Warriors 3-1 to lift the championship trophy.

Kentrell Barkley of the Warriors tries to escape from the Heat players during their last meet on August 27. The Warriors won 82-68. They will face each other again in the Playoffs on September 7. 

Van Pelt said the battle would be competitive from this round. The Warriors, who lost 1-2 to the Heat this season, were always tough rivals. His team have been watching the Warriors' matches to prepare suitable tactics.

The other pair are second-placed Hanoi Buffaloes (13 wins, 5 losses) and the third-finishers Nha Trang Dolphins (12 wins, six losses). They will play on September 8 at the home of the Dolphins, the Nha Trang University Gymnasium in Nha Trang City, Khánh Hòa Province.

The Buffaloes, which lost their Regular Season's top place in the last minutes, defeated the Dolphins 2-0 in last year's playoffs. However this year, the Dolphins won two of three meets between the two sides.

In this round, pairs will play the best-of-three format. The winners of two will advance to the finals. VNS

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