Dato’ Lua Choon Hann has taken up the fourth seat at the owner’s table for Westports Malaysia Dragons alongside Datuk Ruben Emir Gnanalingam, Dato’ Wira Dani Daim and Dato’ Robin Tan Yeong Ching.

He has been the President of Malaysia Basketball Association (MABA) since 2016, and is the Group Managing Director of PRG Holdings Berhad which runs a Property development, plantation and manufacturing business (furniweb Holdings Ltd HK stock code 8480) which recently acquired the rights to the couture fashion brand Philip Plein for South East Asia.

Dato’ Lua has been an avid basketball player since his high school days and continues to play actively to date. Be it on the court or off the court, he has always been enthusiastically following up on basketball news and developments involving Malaysia basketball and various leagues like the NBA, ABL and EuroLeague.

Q&A with Dato’ Lua:

1. How did you get involved in Basketball?

– I have been playing basketball since my high school days. I fell in love with the sport and have been very passionate ever since. When I came back from Singapore, my childhood friend’s father, Mr. Wee Cheong Phor was the active team manager for the Westports Malaysia Dragons and also a very respectable figure in Malaysia Basketball. He is a legend! It was him who encouraged me to become the president of Kelantan Basketball Association in 2012, and from there on I started a local team on my own, the Kelantan Warriors who won the Malaysia National Basketball League 2013. From there on, in 2016, I became the Malaysia Basketball Association (MABA) President.

2. How do you see the basketball in Malaysia growing as the President of MABA?

– One of my goals when I first got into office is to improve and reform the structure and operations of the association to be self-sustaining. Sports is a huge business worldwide, and I believe if we are able to move towards a professional set up and focus on it like a business, basketball in Malaysia can grow. We have been working on creating professionally structured leagues and development platforms. Slowly but surely. We need more stakeholders and corporate entities to invest into sports.

3. What do you think of the ABL?

– I think the ABL is a great platform for local players, not just in Malaysia, but every country involved to develop. The regional competition between different teams, style and method of play provides great exposure for players to develop. I believe it is especially exciting as the ABL is expanding out of South East Asia, into Asia. I’m especially proud that we have a team in the Dragons carrying Malaysia’s flag playing in a top regional league.

4. What do you think of the Dragons this year as your first year with them?

– I think this year we struggle a little with younger players. However, I think this is a good step going forward. We have a lot of younger players that we are developing, and I believe in time, these players will mature and flourish in time. They’ll be able to compete with the top talents in the league. I am extremely excited for Malaysia basketball as this helps to grow our pool of national talent.

5. The biggest question everyone will want to know. How did you get involved with the Dragons?

– I have been pretty regular to Dragons’ games for the past two years. I think the fans, the atmosphere and the league was very exciting and I’ve known the owners, namely Datuk Ruben for a while. I have always had an admiration for their efforts and investment in Malaysia basketball. I got Ruben to be one of the Vice President in MABA when I took office as President and we share the same sentiment with regards to basketball development. One day over a dinner, he invited me to be one of their partners and I did not hesitate to say yes probably due to being under influenced of drinks, but I’m glad I did! The rest is history then.

6. What’s your thoughts on the Dragons moving forward.

– I hope that we will continue to develop a strong core of local players and I believe we will be able to repeat our championship year soon. Hopefully in the next 3 years we will be able to be one of the best teams in the league.

The Dragons welcomes Dato’ Lua Choon Hann to the organization with enthusiasm and look forward to having him play an active role within the team.