Fast and furious marathon challenge
Defending champions suffered mixed fortunes in the finals of the Hong Kong Inter-school Basketball Marathon earlier this month.
The Diocesan Boys' School (DBS) in Mong Kok successfully retained their title, beating The Jockey Club Eduyoung College 31-13. But Heep Yunn School in Ma Tau Wai missed out on a third successive girls' championship when they were beaten 21-24 by CCC Kwei Wah Shan College, in North Point.
The girls' final was once again a showdown between the Kowloon champions and the Hong Kong Island champions. It was the third time the teams had faced each other this season - and the third defeat for Heep Yuen.
Both teams - who had reached the final after three earlier victories during the day - started playing at a high tempo straight away.
They had just 20 minutes to make it their day, playing 10 minutes each way, with a three-minute half-time break.
The score remained close throughout, with Kwei Wah Shan leading 10-9 at the end of the first half. Heep Yunn fell further behind, trailing 12-17 soon after the break, but managed to level the score at 21-21 in the last minute.
Then power forward Ho Kwun-yan scored a three-point field goal for Kwei Wah Shan with only seconds remaining.
Her crucial conversion helped Kwei Wah Shan claim their first-ever title in the tournament - and saw them win all four major titles this school year.
Kwun-yan, 18, a Form Five student, was named the final's Most Valuable Player (MVP). 'I could feel the pressure playing on court, and it was also tiring near the end of what was our fourth match of the day,' she said. 'But it felt great to win the title right at the end.'
Captain Wong Ka-man, 20, a Form Seven student, said: 'I was only going to be satisfied if our team won the final. I have played in the marathon for the past six years and this is the first time I've won the final with my teammates. I think we demonstrated our team spirit by staying strong against our opponents.'
Ka-man, a shooting guard, and Kwun-yan ended the match as joint top scorers with nine points each.
In the boys' competition, 237 school teams were divided into four groups, with each group winner getting through to the semi-finals. In the last four, DBS beat Beacon College, from Yuen Long, 37-24, while Eduyoung College upset Ying Wa College, from Sham Shui Po, 22-16.
But in the final, Eduyoung College did not prove too much trouble for DBS. The defending champions thrashed their rivals 31-13, with Ho Chun-kit their top scorer with nine points.
So Sheung-ying, a Form Six student from DBS, was named MVP. He said he had expected to meet Ying Wa in the final.
'They were knocked out by Eduyoung, and this shows that every team has a chance in a 20-minute match,' said Sheung-ying, a shooting guard. 'I am the oldest guy in the team, and in this tournament, I was always a reserve player who was sent on when my younger teammates needed more support. I think Ho Chun-kit deserved the MVP award, but I am also delighted to receive this honour.'