Seapower end title drought
BIG spending Seapower clinched their first title in three years by beating Suntex 72-56 in the Senior Shield final before a capacity crown of almost 2,000 at the MacPherson Stadium last night.
Seapower, winners of the Shield and League double in 1992, staked their claim for a clean-sweep of the domestic titles with their overwhelming victory.
Team manager John Sham said: 'We always have a good team but we are even stronger this year with Chan Kin-man and Leung Yuet-ming joining us, so we are hoping to win all the local titles.
'I don't think we were put to the test in the Shield because this event was for local players only. Our main targets are to win the Fukien Cup and the Division A1 League.' Seapower have recruited American professional Mark Meredith, a favourite with Hong Kong fans, to lead their challenge in the two other championships.
Seapower got off on a promising note last night with Lam Chun-wai netting a three-pointer to open the scoring, but they were unable to pull away and Suntex matched them basket for basket.
However, two accurate outside throws by the sharp shooting Lam saw Seapower open up a 20-14 lead in the eighth minute.
Yung Kam-wah inspired a Suntex recovery and they closed the gap to 29-31 with two minutes of the first half remaining, but Seapower hung on for a 35-31 advantage at half-time.
With new recruits Chan and Leung finding their scoring touch after the break, Seapower raced to a 60-46 lead midway through the second period and were never seriously challenged again.
Hong Kong international Yung topscored with 29 points but it was not enough to save Suntex. Leading scorers for Seapower were Leung with 19 points, Chan jwith 18 and Lam with 17.
Top club Regal yesterday filed an appeal against the life ban on centre Lo Chi-shing for allegedly attacking referee Lam Siu-chung during a Senior Shield play-off match last Thursday.
The Hong Kong Basketball Association's disciplinary committee slapped the ban on the 27-year-old former Inter-varsity Games representative on Monday evening.
The penalty stunned the basketball fraternity and Regal manager Stanley Au Kai-kwong said he was shocked by the heavy punishment on a player with a clean disciplinary record in his 10-year career.
'I am fully against on-court violence and agree that attacking a referee is a very serious offence that deserves harsh punishment,' said Au, vice-chairman of the HKBA who is also a former chairman of the disciplinary board.
'But a life ban would put an end to the player's basketball career. I've already filed an appeal on Lo's behalf because he is really very sorry about the incident. 'I hope the appeal committee will consider reducing the punishment, but I cannot say what is the fair penalty because being the HKBA vice-chairman I do not want my comments to affect the board's decision.' Au, however, cited that American professional Perry Young received a three-year ban in 1991 for a similar incident.