Quantity vs quality
The adjustments hiked up spectators’ expectation for the tournament’s quality, which was partly met as the top 10 players scoring the most points in the group stage were all foreign.
However, the 18 foreign players employed by the seven teams competing at the 2022 VBA could not prove much in terms of professional qualifications and fitness, but just physique.
The Thang Long Warriors had to change players twice, while the Danang Dragons replaced their foreign players after six defeats.
The Nha Trang Dolphins had to use a 14-day contract to bring in Scharer to take over the injured Whitfield, before CJ Jackson was also benched by injuries.
|Shane Henry (in white) tries to block Dominique Tham’s finish during a 2022 VBA game. Photo: VBA
Fitness and speed combine
Most of the coaches of the 2022 VBA’s teams, typically the Hanoi Buffaloes and Saigon Heat, assigned their two foreign players to the center and defender positions.
One player with outstanding height and long arm span took care of the area under the basket, while the other was in charge of dribbling and finishing from different positions.
For the Buffaloes, Shane Henry and Jeffery Stubbs contributed an average of 41.4 points in each game in the group stage.
For the Heat, Alonzo Stafford, with a height of 1.98m, and Madarious Gibbs, who stood out for speed, scored 52.5 percent of the team’s points in the group stage.
|Alonzo Stafford (No. 23) makes a slam-dunk during a 2022 VBA game. Photo: VBA
Once the 2018 VBA champion and the 2019 VBA runner-up with Cantho Catfish, Deangelo Hamilton returned at the 2022 VBA in the hope of revitalizing the Mekong Delta team.
The American player played in the same form as his peak in 2018 and was the only player scoring over 300 points in the group stage. However, that was not enough to help Cantho Catfish advance to the semifinals.
As the level of the players at the VBA has been raised, the teams should not depend on certain foreign players only, but the team plays as a whole.
Despite that, it is undeniable that foreign players will continue to be an integral part of the coming VBA seasons.
Their qualifications and skills will contribute to improving the professional quality of the tournament, as well as treating fans to spectacular moments.
|The Cantho Catfish’s Hamilton tries to break through three Ho Chi Minh City Wings players. Photo: VBA