Former NBL coach Frank Arsego has been named head coach of the Singapore National Men’s Basketball team and will take over the team officially next month. He will also be taking on the role of technical director as part of a two-year contract.
Arsego was coach of the Singapore Slingers during their time in the NBL from 2008-2010 and his knowledge of Singapore basketball was instrumental to him being offered the job.
He enters the position at a time where the Singapore men’s basketball is seeing unprecedented success with basketball growing stronger and stronger since he left the country in 2008. Last year they were able to qualifying for the FIBA Asia Championship last year, where they had a chance to make the Olympics, a first for the countries basketball program.
“I’m fortunate enough now to have this great opportunity to come back to Singapore to take over the national team as well as become the technical director” Arsego said,
“We can improve the national team, improve the depth, and make people think it’s great to be part of Singapore basketball.”
Basketball’s development in Singapore has been in part due to the Singapore Slingers program which Arsego helped developed at it’s early stages.
The NBL expanded into Singapore in 2008 with expansion team Singapore Slingers, although the team lasted only 2 years in the NBL the team has continued to thrive playing in the ASEAN league which features teams like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Phillipines and Vietnam.
The Singapore Slingers field ten local players, all who make up the roster of the countries national team. It should not be a surprise that when the team looks to develop into a team capable of qualifying for the Olympic games, they turn back to a man who has been a large part of their development in the past.
Michael Johnson who played 364 games in the NBL for Newcastle has been an assistant coach for the National Team over the past five years.
“We are happy to see him back in Singapore as our national team coach. The Slingers and our national program work together very closely and Frank’s experience here is second to none” said Johnson who is also on the Singapore Slingers coaching staff.
Arsego, whose coaching career includes an incredible run as head of the Australian Institute of Sports basketball coach for seven years (1996-2003). Arsego before coaching the New Zealand Breakers (2003-2005) and Singapore Slingers (2008-2010) in the NBL. Arsego was also recently a part of the Melbourne United front office.
During Arsego’s time at the AIS he was responsible for the development of more players who represented Australia than almost any other coach in the program’s history.
Players like Brad Newley, Daniel Kickert, Aleksander Maric, Rhys Carter, Ian Crosswhite, Oscar Forman, Jacob Holmes, Aaron Bruce and Damian Martin all made appearences for the Australian national team after leaving the AIS and his tutoring helped propel NBA stars Andrew Bogut, David Andersen and Luke Schenscher to overseas success.
Arsego will take over the team from current Singapore Slingers coach Neo Beng Siang who stepped down as national coach after more than 12 years at the helm.
Neo, who is the current Slingers coach, led the national men’s team to back-to-back bronze medals at the 2013 and 2015 South-east Asia Games.
He had previously spoken fondly of his Slingers predecessors Gordon McLeod and Arsego, from whom he said he learnt “training methods and man-management skills”.
Arsego’s first challenge will be to improve the team’s 2015 Southeast Asian Games bronze-medal showing by bringing home gold at next year’s Games in Kuala Lumpur.