know the Merlion Cup trophy donated by Singapore Tourist Promotion Board (STPB,
now STB), is special as it has the iconic Merlion statue on top which is made
of solid gold!
event held at the new Singapore Indoor Stadium was the Merlion Cup basketball
finals on 3 December 1989, before the venue's official opening on New Year's
Eve by late former Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Many still recall the 5th
Merlion Cup Finals in 1989 held at Singapore Indoor Stadium, where 12,000 fans
packed the venue to watch the final game between China and the then Soviet
"The Merlion Cup basketball Invitational
tournaments were held with teams from Spain, USA to USSR and China in the 80s
and 90s. They were so popular that the old Geylang Indoor Stadium (Gay World
Stadium) was filled to the brim.
It had a capacity of five thousand but could
squeeze in up to six or seven thousand spectators on the cement benches. The
ticket cost $5 and $10 only.
I remember that the more agressive patrons who were disappointed that
they could not get tickets were knocking down the gates, and the "ang
chia" (red cars in Hokkien) had to be called in to control the crowd!"
Quek Hiang Chiang (PBM)
(b.1932-) Former Honorary Secretary and current Advisor
Basketball Association Singapore (BAS)
Treasurer of FIBA since 1988