Dynamic Duo to Spearhead Malaysia’s Wheelchair Basketball Challenge

KUALA LUMPUR (25 Oct 2013) –THE Malaysian wheelchair basketball challenge will be spearheaded by the double threat of star players Ahmad Nazri Hamzah and Razali Cantik who aim to help the hosts bag a bronze medal in their first participation at the Games.

Six nations will contest in this event as Philippines, Jordan, Japan, Iran, Iraq and Malaysia all aim for glory. Iran are strong favourites in this fast-scoring sport but team manager Dr. Chee Chen Soon doesn’t see any reason why his boys can’t upset the odds.

“Iran have been playing for a long time now, and recently won the World Championships. But our boys are a spirited bunch and hopefully with strong support we can pull off an upset,” he exclaimed.

Echoing his comments is coach Lim Ming Lip, who has been coaching the team since 2007 and sees them as potential giant-killers.

“We have been training since early this year, and the team has gelled very well indeed. We will be taking on the Philippines and Iraq and in the 5-on-5, with the experience and skills Nazri and Razali possess, we are hoping to win both matches,” said the confident coach.

For the record, wheelchair basketball will be split into two categories – 3-on-3 and 5-on-5. The 3-on-3 will be spanned out over two quarters lasting seven minutes each while the 5-on-5 will be contested in four quarters spanning 10 minutes each.

Known as Razali Cantik, he reckons the team is well in contention to win at least a bronze medal.

“I have been in the national squad since 2007, and have represented the country on multiple occasions, among them the World Junior Championships in Paris in 2009, as well as the Dubai Invitation in 2012. Playing on home soil this time around is certainly a morale booster, and I will give my best and hopefully we can upset some of the bigger names,” said the 23-year-old, who looks up to fellow Paralympian Canadian basketballer Patrick Anderson as his role model.

Echoing his aspirations is fellow compatriot Ahmad Nazri Hamzah.

“I have been playing together with Razali for six years now, and I think we have the understanding and experience, having also played for the senior team, to lead our team into battle and come away with a medal.”

The rules of Paralympic basketball are exactly the same as the regular sport. The wheelchair is customised to suit athletes’ movement on the court and the wheels are designed to be faster and more balanced than the regular wheelchair.

So, can Malaysia turn on the hot wheels and aim for the stars? We will know for sure when the tournament gets underway at the Shah Alam National Sports Complex tomorrow.

The Asian Youth Para Games is a multi-sport event held every four years for youth athletes with physical disabilities. The first Games was held in 2003 in Hong Kong and after a six-year lapse, the second edition was hosted by Japan’s capital city Tokyo in 2009.

This year’s edition in Kuala Lumpur carries the slogan “Where Passion Grows, Dreams Fulfilled, Friendships Strengthened”, and fittingly, will see some 1200 athletes and officials from 30 nations competing in more than 600 events/disciplines.The Asian Youth Para Games is a multi-sport event held every four years for youth athletes with physical disabilities. The first Games was held in 2003 in Hong Kong and after a six-year lapse, the second edition was hosted by Japan’s capital city Tokyo in 2009.

This year’s edition in Kuala Lumpur carries the slogan “Where Passion Grows, Dreams Fulfilled, Friendships Strengthened”, and fittingly, will see some 1200 athletes and officials from 30 nations competing in more than 600 events/disciplines.

KFC Malaysia is the Games Sports Partner while lading car distributor Edaran Tan Chong Motors Sdn Bhd, oil and gas giants PETRONAS, Eau Claire and MIKASA are among the official sponsors of the Games, which is sanctioned by the Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) and supported by the Malaysian Ministry of Youth and Sports.

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