Vietnam Basketball Association (VBA)
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2020 VBA season
Inaugural season2016
No. of teams7
Country Vietnam
ContinentFIBA Asia (Asia)
Most recent
Saigon Heat (2nd title)
Most titlesSaigon Heat (2 titles)

The Vietnam Basketball Association (Vietnamese: Giải Bóng Rổ Chuyên Nghiệp Việt Nam), often abbreviated as VBA, is a Vietnamese national professional basketball league founded in 2016.[1]


The formation of the VBA was announced by charter team Saigon Heat following their completion of the 2015–16 ASEAN Basketball League season.[1] Leading up to the inaugural season, the VBA expected 6 teams would compete in the new league.[2] However, only 5 teams were officially unveiled. To oversee league operations, the VBA looked to the Philippines to find someone with an extensive basketball background.[3] Tonichi Pujante was named the inaugural league commissioner.[4] In January 2020, the VBA announced that the upcoming season would feature one additional team located in the province of Khanh Hoa on the Southern Coast of Vietnam. The team reportedly was going to play in the 2019 season tournament, but plans fell through. The new team is unofficially called the "Nha Trang Dolphins."[5]


The VBA started its inaugural season with 5 teams. The league added the Thang Long Warriors as its 6th franchise in the 2017 season.[6]

Going into the 2020 season, the VBA added the Nha Trang Dolphins in Nha Trang, Khánh Hòa as its 7th franchise.[7]

Team City, Region Arena Founded Joined Head Coach
Cantho Catfish Ninh Kiều District, Cần Thơ Can Tho Multi-purpose Sports Arena 2016 United States Jordan Collins
Danang Dragons Hải Châu District, Đà Nẵng Quan Khu 5 Sports Arena 2016 Vietnam Phan Thanh Cảnh
Hanoi Buffaloes Hai Bà Trưng District, Hà Nội Bach Khoa Sports Arena 2016 Mexico Eric Weissling
Hochiminh City Wings District 3, Ho Chi Minh City Ho Xuan Huong Sports Arena 2016 Lithuania Gediminas Meiliunas
Nha Trang Dolphins Nha Trang City, Khánh Hòa Nha Trang University Sports Arena 2020 United States Ryan Marchand
Saigon Heat District 7, Ho Chi Minh City CIS Sports Arena 2011 2016 United States Kevin Yurkus
Thang Long Warriors Tây Hồ District, Hà Nội Tây Hồ Arena 2017 Serbia Predrag Lukic

Regular season

Following the summer break, the preseason begins typically in May. During this time, the teams build their 13–16-man rosters with each team allowed one foreign, two Overseas Vietnamese, and 10–13 local players.[2] The VBA regular season currently begins at the beginning of August and runs to the end of the October. Each team plays 15 games, divided between 7–8 home and 7–8 away matches.

At the end of the regular season, the league's overall leader is awarded the Fans' Shield.


At the conclusion of the regular, the VBA Playoffs begins. In the inaugural season, all 5 teams are eligible for the tournament style playoffs. However, the teams that finish in the #4 and #5 seeds must meet each other in a wildcard game to move on to the playoffs. The winner of the game meets the #1 seeded team. In the 2017 season onward, there are 6 teams, and the wildcard game is eliminated. #1 will play #4 and the #2 seeded team meets the #3 seeded team in a best-of-three series. The winners move on to meet in the VBA Finals.

League championships

Team Champions Runners-up Total Champion year Runner-up year
Saigon Heat 2 0 2 2019, 2020 -
Danang Dragons 1 0 1 2016 -
Thang Long Warriors 1 1 2 2017 2020
Cantho Catfish 1 2 3 2018 2017, 2019
Hochiminh City Wings 0 1 1 - 2016
Hanoi Buffaloes 0 1 1 - 2018

Current teams that have no VBA Finals appearances: Nha Trang Dolphins

See also


  1. ^ a b Hodge, Harry. "Vietnam is getting a pro basketball league". Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  2. ^ a b "VN Basketball Association seeks US-based basketballers". Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  3. ^ "Vietnam looking for Filipino commissioner, coaches for maiden professional cage league". Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  4. ^ "Letter from VBA Commissioner - Tonichi Pujante". Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  5. ^ VnExpress. "Vietnam pro basketball league to start in May with extra team - VnExpress International". VnExpress International – Latest news, business, travel and analysis from Vietnam. Retrieved 2020-01-23.
  6. ^ "The sixth VBA team Thang Long Warriors just revealed their logo". Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  7. ^ "Vietnam pro basketball league to start in May with extra team". Retrieved 31 January 2020.