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Feature: Malaysian basketballer's China college ambition

HUZHOU, China, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- After Malaysia beat Thailand 14-11 in the basketball 3x3 women's round robin at the Hangzhou Asian Games, Yiang de Wee, together with his teammates, stood up and cheered for them.

"This is a closely contested game, and the victory is critical for our women's team," said Yiang.

However, Malaysia's men's team, which Yiang belongs to, was not so lucky. The team lost to India 20-16 and China 21-5, which means they must prevail over their next opponents Macao, China in order to continue their Asian Games journey.

"The players of India and China are taller than us, so it was hard for us to defend and find opportunities, making us feel helpless," he said.

According to Yiang, he and his three teammates only trained for around two weeks before the Asian Games, since they all had other competitions to participate in in Malaysia.

"We arrived in Hangzhou on September 22 and trained near the athletes' village, about 20 minutes' bus travel," he said.

Yiang said he has been impressed by the organization and service of the Hangzhou Asian Games. "The accommodation and food are great. Staff in the athletes' village are all very welcoming. Everything is so advanced in China," said Yiang.

As a Malaysian of Chinese descent, Yiang can speak fluent Chinese. "I once studied at a Chinese school in Malaysia, so I could speak Mandarin from an early age. I can also understand Cantonese," he said.

Yiang began to learn basketball at primary school and became a member of his school team. He formally started his professional career at the age of 18 after joining a local club.

For Yiang, who is still a university student, balancing his basketball career and his studies has become a challenge. "I delayed my college study for two years due to a scholarship issue. After the pandemic, a lot of competitions came back, making me fully occupied and leaving me no time for study. Normally I should have graduated at 22, but now I am already 24," Yiang explained.

Nevertheless, the China trip has given him a new idea. "In fact, this is not my first time to China. I once visited Xiamen for a tournament. I also know there is a Huaqiao University in Fujian Province. Perhaps I can try to get into a Chinese college for further study since I enjoy the atmosphere of China so much," he said.