FIBA Asia: Malaysian center dies during game in China

Tragedy struck the Malaysian national basketball team last Monday, just days before the opening of the 27th FIBA-Asia cage championships, after one of its players suddenly passed away.

Jacky Ng Kiat Kee, a six-foot-five center, collapsed and died after suffering what is believed to be a heart attack during an invitation tournament in China on Monday, just three days prior to the start of the Manila cage spectacle.

In a report posted by the Kuala Lumpur-based publication New Straits Times, no less than Malaysian Basketball Association secretary-general Chey Tat Woon confirmed the death of the 25-year-old center.

According to Chey, Ng was seated on the team’s bench during the match in Jianling when he suddenly collapsed at around 4:30 p.m. and was declared dead less than three hours later while being treated at a local hospital.

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“A MABA official and the late Jacky Ng's parents are in China to make the necessary arrangements to fly the body back to Malaysia. The death of Jacky Ng is a great loss to the team and the country," Chey was quoted as saying by Bernama, the news agency of the Malaysian government.

The sudden death of Ng, who carried the colors of the Sarawak Firehorse in the Malaysian National Basketball League, the Malaysians, ranked 69th in the world, is expected to weigh heavily on the Malaysians, who are already up for a tough battle after they were drawn into  Group C, dubbed the “Group of Death,” and open their campaign against continental titan Iran on Thursday.

The Malaysians, who finished 11th overall in the 2011 edition in Wuhan, then battle reigning titlist China on Friday and perennial powerhouse South Korea on Saturday.

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