Monday, September 28, 2009


The story of the owners of the Kuala Lumpur Dragon's team for the Asean Basketball League is a true testimony of the 1 Malaysia concept being championed by the Prime Minister.

This is because the four owners of the team, set to make its debut in the ABL on October 13, come from different races, Dato Tony Fernandes, Dato Robin Tan, Dato Wira Dani Daim and Ruben Emir Gnanalingam.

With the exception of Dato Wira Dani, the other three had sponsored MyTeam FC when the reality side made their debut in the Premier League in 2007, finishing as runner-up and thus earning promotion to the Super League.

And three of the owners come from successful fathers, Wira Dani being the son of statesman Tun Daim Zainuddin, Ruben the son of Tan Sri Gnanalingam and Robin being the son of Tan Sri Vincent Tan.

The KL Dragons will play their matches in Kuala Lumpur and are looking towards hiring Jamal Brown and Brad Bridgewater as foreign players in their march towards the title of the inaugural ABL.

Co-owner Datuk Wira Dani Daim said his team has targetted a top four finish and had roped in two players from the United States to beef up the squad.

"We have already signed Jamal Brown and in the midst of getting the services of the player. The rest will be local players while National coach Goh Cheng Huat take charge of the team," he said.

Ironically Ruben is the only personality when does not have a title and the Executive Director of Westports was involved with MyTeam FC before his foray into basketball.

When asked his inclination towards basketball, despite the fact that his father Tan Sri Gnanalingam had just a few days earlier spoke with admiration on football, Ruben begged to differ with his dad.

"It is not just about basketball as a sport but I view it as a whole package, right from an investment to being entertaining," said Ruben who is a die hard Liverpool fan.

"Malaysian football does not offer much hope and really I see it going no where in the current situation.

"Hopefully with the support we are putting into basketball, we will be able to generate an interest and we have a team that is capable of challenging for honours."

Ruben is not the only MyTeam official who has ventured into basketball for the current Team Manager of MyTeam FC, Yakub Hussaini has been appointed as the General Manager of the KL Dragons.

Yakub, who hails from Sarawak, started off with the reality show and went on to become the Assistant Manager of the club outfit in their debut in the Premier League in 2007.

"With the Malaysia Cup coming to an end, it will not be difficult to juggle between my two jobs as I find it as a challenge and will do my level best," said Yaks as he is fondly known.

"We have a fairly good side and hope the fans will get behind the team and hopefully we get off to a winning start."