The Saigon Heat strive to become the number one sports brand in Vietnam, not only in basketball, but throughout all sports. We are committed to the pursuit of excellence, and in doing so, know that it all starts with success on the court. One of our ultimate goals is to consistently remain at the top of all competitions we participate in while bringing in championships along the way.
Recognition as the most illustrious sports brand in Vietnam not only requires the biggest fanbase, but also a passionate one as well. Developing loyalty and trust doesn’t happen overnight, but through long-term eminence, we hope to establish an identity that is synonymous with perfection.
Falling short of being deemed the model franchise is not an option. Through employing the best international practices and sustaining the highest levels of professionalism in terms of our technical side, business operations and long-term vision, we aim to achieve a thriving championship culture that sets its own standards.
The Saigon Heat are Vietnam’s first professional basketball organization based out of the country’s largest and most populated city, Ho Chi Minh. The establishment of the team in 2011 offered an opportunity for basketball-starved fans in Vietnam to band together in support of a team they could call their own and to this day, carries the most prestige among an ever-growing Vietnamese basketball community.
As Vietnam’s lone entry into the ranks of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL), the team experienced growing pains in its first few seasons while it searched for its identity, resulting in losing seasons and subsequent absences from the postseason. It wasn’t until 2014 that the Saigon Heat began to hit our stride, as the team rallied behind assistant coach Tony Garbelotto to qualify for our first playoffs appearance following the sudden and tragic midseason death of late head coach, Jason Rabedeaux.
Since then, the Heat have tasted success, appearing in three consecutive ABL semifinals, spearheaded by Vietnamese-American guard, David “Viet” Arnold, the franchise’s face and all-time leading scorer.
With our professional infrastructure, unwavering following, and unquestioned popularity, the Saigon Heat helped usher in Vietnam’s first professional basketball league in 2016. The Vietnam Basketball Association (VBA) has since given rise to a national sporting platform that is invested in further developing Vietnam’s upcoming generation of athletes and as a springboard for their recognition on the international stage.
Winning is important, but we won’t let it be the only thing that defines us. It all starts at the top. We value every member of our team which includes our players and those who are behind the scenes. Our organization believes in a team-always-comes-first mentality that is process-focused. The Saigon Heat places a strong value on attention to detail and a continuous yearning for improvement.
In realizing our potential, we understand that it is important to do things the right way – with integrity and fair play. We want to set a precedence for being positive role-models for fans and the youth of Vietnam. Treating each other with respect, teaching others when mistakes are made and encouraging our comrades when they are down are core values that our organization practices each and every day.
“We will be tenacious and unyielding to our opponents. They may fear us, or be intimidated, or frustrated, but secretly, they will want to play for us. We will carry a championship attitude and habits each and every day in practice. We will be the best conditioned team in the league. We will be confident and proud, but not arrogant. Our goal is constant improvement, how do we get better every day? How do we be the best that we can be? How can we be all that we can potentially become as a team?
We are WINNERS not from our results, but because of our mindset and work ethic will naturally produce the results of champions. We will focus on the things we can control, we will not blame others or the circumstances. We will not blame or argue with the referees. We will overcome any obstacle that comes our way.”
-Connor Nguyen, General Manager