By Les Tan/Red Sports
Slinger head coach Frank Arsego. (Photo 1 © Les Tan/Red Sports)
Friday, February 19, 2010 – The Singapore Slingers head coach Frank Arsego has decided not to return for the second season of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) later this year.
Coach Arsego led the Slingers to a 10-5 win-loss record during the regular season before bowing out with his team 1-2 in the playoffs against Satria Muda BritAma.
Having been in Singapore since 2008, going home to family in Australia is now his main priority.
“The reason for heading back to Australia is family,” Arsego told Red Sports. “I’ve been here for two years and my family stayed home in Australia. I need to get back to connect with the family. I want to spend more time with my son and not miss out too much.”
Coach Arsego took the Slinger players aside last night to break the news to them personally.
“It’s not an easy thing to give up what you’ve started and have had some success with. The two things I’m proud of is that I’ve left a good team and helped to create a lot more interest in Singapore for basketball.”
Slinger general manager Michael Johnson understood where Arsego was coming from.
“I would have liked for him to have stayed 12-18 months but it’s a family decision. It’s not one of those situation where we had a bad season and the coach has to go. We had a great season!” said Johnson.
Johnson added that Arsego told him of the decision after the playoffs and that the Slingers will decide on a new head coach closer to the start of the second ABL season.
For assistant coach Neo Beng Siang, the experience of working alongside Arsego had been a good one.
“I’m pretty happy working with him because he’s a nice coach who has taught me a lot of stuff, sharing with me his 35 years of coaching experience, giving me articles from coaching clinics he’s attended to read,” said Neo.
“The players and I were sad to hear that he was going because we expected him to be staying another one or two years because we had a good season where everybody gelled together,” added Neo.
“I felt quite sad when I was told about the news, as I have been working with him since the last season when I am still a development player,” said local Slinger Steven Khoo. “I learnt a lot of basketball skills and also life skills from him. He is always a very nice coach and friend to me. He is always the first person I would approach and talk to when I am in doubts.
“But this is part and parcel of life, people come and go, so I wish him all the best,” added Khoo.
“I enjoyed the time working in this program with him,” said Wong Wei Long. “He has had an impact on my basketball career. It is our loss that we could not keep him as our coach for the next ABL season.”
In other team news, Slinger Kyle Jeffers will play for his old club Langen of Germany in the ABL off-season and he expressed a strong desire to return for a second season with the Slingers.
Jeffers was named Most Valuable Player by the Slinger management while Hong Weijian got the Most Improved Player.
Marcus Ng will be returning to Australia to resume his medical studies while Michael LeBlanc and Al Vergara have no definite plans at the moment.
The local Slinger boys will in the meantime spend the off-season conducting basketball clinics for Singapore schools before resuming training some time later.
Arsego celebrating with Al Vergara an astonishing comeback against Satria Muda in Jakarta last November 2009. (Photo 2 © Les Tan/Red Hoops)