The VBA Awards 2023 ceremony took place this year, and it was different from the previous year. The program excluded awards for ‘Handle of the Year,’ ‘Assist of the Year,’ and ‘Buzzer Beater of the Year.’ Instead, a new category called ‘Basket of the Year’ was introduced to acknowledge the most remarkable and emotionally charged scoring situation of the season.

Nguyen Tien Duong (R) executes a counterattack at VBA 2023. Photo: VBA

Interestingly, amongst the nominees for ‘Basket of the Year,’ only one foreign player, Kentrell Barkley from Saigon Heat, made the list. The other three candidates were local players.

One of the nominees, Nguyen Tien Duong from Hanoi Buffaloes, stood out for his quick steal and counterattack in the final seconds of the team’s first match of the season. His play secured victory for the Buffaloes and brought excitement to Hanoi basketball fans.

This play marked a significant highlight in the career of the 33-year-old guard and a memorable moment in the 2023 VBA season.

Truong Hoang Trung expresses jubilation after scoring a basket. Photo: VBA

The second nominee for ‘Basket of the Year’ was 30-year-old Truong Hoang Trung from Thang Long Warriors.

Trung received the nomination for sinking a crucial three-pointer that directly contributed to a victory against the Cantho Catfish in overtime.

The third nominee was Son Minh Tam from Nha Trang Dolphins.

In Match 33 of the season, the Dolphins faced challenges as they were without key player Madarious Gibbs, who had been disqualified, and player Dominique Tham was playing with a moderate injury.

Son Minh Tam consistently played a crucial role in guiding the Nha Trang Dolphins out of challenging situations at VBA 2023. Photo: VBA

Despite the disadvantage, the Dolphins managed to stage a come-from-behind triumph, thanks to Tam’s exceptional performance.

Aside from these local talents, the VBA 2023 season also showcased the emergence of several other domestic players. One notable nominee was Nguyen Huynh Phu Vinh, the only Vietnamese player nominated for ‘Defensive Player of the Year.’ Additionally, two young players, Le Khac Dang Khoa and Tran Van Trung, received nominations in the ‘Block of the Year’ category.