The Saigon Heat secured a victory in the match thanks to Du Minh An’s overtime field goal, making him the hero of the game.

“During training, I practiced that specific shot and finishing move many times,” said An.

“Scoring the game-winning point made me happy. It was probably the best shot of my career.”

Du Minh An (R) guarding foreign player Madarious Gibbs. Photo: VBA

Under the leadership of coach Matt Van Pelt, the Saigon Heat finished the finals’ group stage with a 14-4 record, showcasing outstanding performances from their experienced local players, Vietnamese-American Hassan Thomas, and American Kentrell Barkley.

In the semifinals, the Saigon Heat eliminated the Hanoi-based Thang Long Warriors with a 2-0 series victory.

In the championship match, they faced the Nha Trang Dolphins, a formidable team making their first appearance in the finals.

Saigon Heat celebrates clinching the championship after a long season. Photo: VBA

Kentrell Barkley, the only foreign player for the Saigon Heat and the standout performer of the tournament, was crowned the MVP of the VBA Finals 2023.

Barkley, a 1.98-meter-tall forward, set a league scoring record of 51 points in a single match and achieved five triple-doubles.

Saigon Heat lifts the VBA 2023 championship trophy. Photo: VBA

Expressing his excitement about winning another championship, Barkley credited the team’s dedication and commitment to bringing home the victory in the finals.

He also acknowledged the support of the team’s fans, players, and coaching staff for contributing to their success.

The VBA 2023 season, which started on June 10, concluded after more than three months of intense competition, featuring 71 thrilling matches across the group stage, semifinals, and finals.