US-born Perry makes the cut

New Straits Times - - Sport -

AF­TER an encouraging de­but for the na­tional basketball team dur­ing a re­cent tour of New Zealand, US-born Perry Lim is ex­cited to get a chance to per­form in front of home fans at the Sea Games.

Perry, 19, made the cut for the 12-mem­ber na­tional team who will be bid­ding to win a medal for the first time in 10 years when Malaysia open their cam­paign against Myan­mar on Aug 20.

Al­though born in Illi­nois, Perry is no stranger to Malaysia hav­ing made nu­mer­ous trips to his par­ents’ home state of Pe­nang.

The son of former na­tional team player Billy Lim, Perry’s po­ten­tial was no­ticed early dur­ing one of sev­eral age-group com­pe­ti­tions in Pe­nang be­fore be­ing in­vited to try out for the na­tional team.

“I started play­ing basketball when I was younger and I was no­ticed when I played in Pe­nang,” said Perry af­ter the un­veil­ing of na­tional team for the Sea Games at the Maba Sta­dium yes­ter­day.

“Pre­vi­ous coaches asked if I wanted to come back and try for the na­tional team and this sum­mer I was given the op­por­tu­nity to do that and fi­nally I was se­lected, so re­ally happy that I can con­trib­ute to the team.

“I mean this is a once-in-a-life­time ex­pe­ri­ence and some­thing no­body can take away from me, so re­ally happy to have made the team and re­ally hop­ing to do some­thing at the Sea Games.”

In a squad with sev­eral ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers in­clud­ing Chee Li Wei, Soo Eng Heng and Chan Kek Thai, for­ward Perry slot­ted into the team seam­lessly dur­ing last month’s trip to New Zealand

“It was great,” said Perry. “I loved the new en­vi­ron­ment, it was a great ex­pe­ri­ence for the whole team to re­ally bond and come to­gether

“I re­ally think we have gelled to­gether per­fectly, hope­fully it was good prepa­ra­tion for the Sea Games. I feel we are re­ally pre­pared and have a good chance of get­ting gold.

“It will def­i­nitely be a chal­lenge but I think we have pre­pared well and as a team and the coach­ing staff, I think we re­ally stand a chance.”

Ea­gerly await­ing his de­but on the home front, Perry ap­pre­ci­ated the sup­port of the home fans who were out in full force dur­ing yes­ter­day’s un­veil­ing along with mem­bers of the 1989 gold-medal win­ning squad, the last time Malaysia emerged men’s basketball cham­pi­ons.

“I love it here es­pe­cially there be­ing so many fans here today,” said Perry. “I re­ally can’t thank them enough for com­ing out and sup­port­ing us.

“For the 1989 squad to come here is a true hon­our. They have done it be­fore and hope­fully we can con­tinue that tra­di­tion and get the gold.” Devin­der Singh

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