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Stadium overloaded before SEA basketball boom

26 May 2022 | 15:43 | News

On the afternoon of May 21, the Vietnamese men’s and women’s basketball teams competed in Hanoi. The stadium organizers had to close when the women’s team and Malaysia’s game was in progress because the 1,500 seats inside were already full.

On May 20, hundreds of fans outside the Qingzhi District Gymnasium appeared at the scene. The organizer flexibly arranged a large LED screen, allowing fans to linger on the court and cheer for the two Vietnamese basketball teams.

The popularity of basketball in the 31st SEA Games is beyond the calculation scenarios of the organizers. Until then, basketball is not expected to be a focal sport for fans. But from the first day of the 31st SEA Games, many fans, especially school-aged children, have been following and supporting the two teams.

Phuong Linh (middle) shared with Zing: “I went 4 hours early because I thought it was still early, but when I got there, there were still no seats.” The fan said that on May 20, she was also unable to enter the stadium. left.

The group of female fans said they came to the stadium at 3 p.m. (two hours before the Vietnam women’s team game), but did not have a chance to enter. All had to linger and order fast food to get support from the team in the yard.

The Vietnamese women’s team has never had such support. A few years ago, basketball was an unfamiliar sport in Vietnam. With women’s basketball, there’s even less attention and support from fans. This year’s women’s team is also complemented by overseas Vietnamese stars, and has assembled a strong team ready to compete for medals.

The Vietnamese women’s team won a silver medal in the 3×3 basketball competition of the 31st SEA Games, after which the popularity of basketball “spread” to more fans. And interest has grown following the women’s convincing game. Amid the cheers of the fans, the women’s team played very excitedly and beat Malaysia 69-65.

Que Anh (centre) was there to cheer for Vietnam from the start of the game. “I love both teams. At the end of the women’s time, I’ll stay and continue to cheer for the men’s team. Everyone was so enthusiastic and I screamed,” Que Anh shared.

At 19:00, the men’s basketball team played against Indonesia. It was the spotlight game that determined the medal competitiveness of coach Kevin Yurkus and his students. When the men’s team plays against Indonesia, the number of fans coming to the gym in Thanh Tri district will increase dramatically.

Basketball has been integrated into Vietnam for decades, but has grown professionally over the past 7 years. Since the birth of the Vietnam Professional Basketball League, the “Orange Ball” has attracted young fans. The men’s team won 2 bronze medals in the 3×3 and 5×5 competitions at the 30th Southeast Asian Games, marking the rise of Vietnamese basketball. In the 31st SEA Games, basketball really became a craze.

Thach Thao – Writing Tuesday