HomeNewsFinance & MoneyBasketballVietnam

Vietnamese basketball’s Saigon Heat disbands temporarily

Tyshawn Jamar Taylor of Saigon Heat goes to the basket against #55 Michael Holyfield of Hong Kong Eastern during the ASEAN Basketball League game between Hong Kong Eastern and Saigon Heat at Southorn Stadium on January 21, 2020 in Hong Kong. (Photo by Yu Chun Christopher Wong/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

Vietnamese professional basketball team Saigon Heat has disbanded temporarily due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

News agency Voice of Vietnam reported that the team is discontinuing its operations as a cost-saving measure. It has allowed its players to leave, to return to their home countries or to join former clubs.

Saigon Heat was Vietnam’s only representative in the 2019-20 Asean Basketball League, the multi-territory league covering Southeast Asia. The league was postponed indefinitely on March 13.

The Vietnamese domestic league is to begin in June, and Saigon Heat plans to reassemble a team to enter the competition. It will also compete in the ABL when it restarts next season.

Elsewhere in Vietnamese sport, the resumption of play in the National Cup and V.League 2 football competitions has been moved back to mid-April at the earliest. The National Cup was due to begin on April 3 and the V.League 2 on March 14. The top-tier V.League 1 is due to start on April 15.

Players and other club staff at Ho Chi Minh City FC have agreed to reduce their monthly salaries to help the football club get through the Covid-19 shutdown. HCM City is the first Vietnamese club to take such measures. Club president Nguyen Huu Thang said: “Players raised their voices about this since the early stage of the pandemic, saying that if it lasts long, they will shoulder the burden with the team.”