Seapower get fright from battling Fukien
DEFENDING champions Seapower stayed on course for their second successive Hongkong Division A1 title when they survived a strong second-half rally to beat Fukien 84-76 at the MacPherson Stadium in Mongkok last night for their fifth win in six outings.
Their only defeat was to inconsistent Suntex and they are still capable of going into the play-off round as the top seeds by beating Seasonal in their remaining round-robin fixture.
Seapower's American professional Robert Alston got the match off to a hot start with seven points in less than 90 seconds, including a spectacular dunk which had fans roaring in appreciation.
They sprang to an 11-5 lead after only three minutes and their tight man-to-man marking restricted Fukien from scoring again until the 10th minute when veteran Benny Anthony eventually found the basket, but by that time Seapower were already on 23 points.
Fukien staged a gallant recovery with Ricky Anderson, Chan Kin-man and former Hongkong international Cheng Hok-loi all showing uncanny accuracy from the outside, closing the gap to eight points for a 41-33 half-time score.
Fukien continued to pile on the pressure after the interval and eventually levelled the score at 58-58 eight minutes into the second period, helped by a three-pointer from Anderson.
Chan sent the Fukien fans wild when he gave his team the lead for the first time, 60-58, and the two teams virtually traded basket for basket.
The score was locked at 73-73 five minutes from the buzzer but Fukien were running out of steam as they had kept the same line-up throughout the match.
Seapower then seized control, breezing to an 84-76 victory, with Alston scoring nine of their last 11 points and capping off a great individual display with a three-pointer in the final second.
Alston was the top scorer with 34 points.
Regal crushed amateurs Police 88-66 in the curtain-raiser after leading 52-36 at half-time.