Playing Basketball in Thailand is famous but it has not been a major sport in the country because it has not been as famous as the other sports like Muay Thai and Soccer.
Some Thais play basketball for recreation, some to be physically fit and a small number to be competitive. Thailand National Team has been participating in different competitions in Asia before the 1990s but in the past years Thailand have not formed a roster for their National Team.
But Thailand has been a powerful force in ASEAN Basketball League. The Chang Thailand Slammers(formerly known as Thailand Tigers) has won over the the Philippine Patriots in the Championship Round as they are crowned the 2010-2011 ABL Champions.
History of Basketball in Thailand
There have been no evidence but it is estimated that basketball has spread in Thailand 60 years ago.
Thailand has no professional basketball league but they had their own Professional Basketball Team for both Men and Women which competes in Asian Games, FIBA Asia and ASEAN Basketball League.
In 1966, Thailand has won the 2nd Place in Men’s Basketball Tournament in Asian Games.
Training Elephants to Play Basketball
Elephants in Thailand are trained for entertainment and some are also trained to play basketball. Training the elephants takes about two to three months to be taught with basic control skills using their trunk. It is an innovative attraction introduced by the carers of the elephants. It draws many tourist’s attention because it is unusual to them to see an elephant shooting a basketball using their trunk.
Chang Thailand Slammers
Chang Thailand Slammers which is formerly known as the Thailand Tigers is the first professional basketball team of Thailand for the Asian Basketball League.
In 2009, Thailand Tigers finished the season in the last place with a record of 3 wins and 12 losses.In 2010-2011, Chang Thailand Slammers tops the league with a record of 11 wins and 4 losses which is a huge improvement from the previous season, from being the last to the number one team.In 2010-2011 playoffs of ABL, Chang Thailand Slammers beats the Singapore Slingers with a record of 2-1 in the Semifinals and have won over the Philippine Patriots with a record of 2-0.
Their current coach is Raha Mortel which is from the Philippines and their roster consists of five import players, 3 of them are also from the Philippines, 1 from the USA and another from Cameroon.
They play their home games at Nimibutr National Stadium in Bangkok.
Thailand Men and Women National Team
In 2011, Thailand has no Men National Team Roster. Thailand’s Men Basketball Team last particapated in the qualifying for FIBA World Championship was in the year 2001 in ABC Championship(Asian Basketball Confederation Championship) . Thailand has lost all three games in the preliminary round. After then, Thailand have not yet formed a National Team to participate in FIBA Asia.
Thailand Women National Team is currently ranked no. 5 in the Top 10 FIBA Asia teams. They have a record of 1 win and 4 losses in the 2009 FIBA Asia Championship for Women.In 1972, the women national team acquired bronze medal in the FIBA Asia Championship for Women.