Hun Chanthoeun is the Mekong Tigers head coach and is a former Cambodian National Team player. In 2013 he guided the Tigers – then known as Sela Meas – to a 3rd place finish in the CBL.
This year he is at the helm of an even deeper team, with new recruits joining the original Sela Meas roster from NSK Dream and CCPL Heat, and the fiery coach says, “I have a plan for how to use the players…I know these players well, so we can make sure to have the best group on the floor all the time.”
The Tigers play with intensity and discipline, both of which can be attributed to Chantoeun’s leadership. While softspoken off the court, it’s common to hear his voice piercing the air and reverberating through the gym as he yells instructions to his players or shouts correction after a mistake.
After a brief adjustment period with the new roster in preseason, the team gelled together and under Chantoeun’s guidance swept through their tune-up games winning by an average of nearly 20 points per game.
As the regular season begins the coach is optimistic but knows the challenges ahead. “There are many strong teams,” he says after the final preseason tune-up game. “The foreign players, they are tall, superstars – it will be difficult.”
He pauses, and a slight smile creeps across his face. It’s a tiny glimpse into the mind of the man leading the Tigers, and one that says the team is in good hands – the coach has a plan for how to deploy all that talent on his roster.