Top talent battle for Silver Shield honours
SOME of Hong Kong's finest talent will battle it out at the 2004 Silver Shield Basketball Tournament Championship at MacPherson Stadium in Mongkok on Saturday.
In the men's final, defending champions Fukien are on the brink of elimination, down 0-1 to South China Athletic Association (SCAA) in a best-of-three series.
Even without their best player, centre Tam Wai-yeung, who has a toe injury, SCAA have shown a lot of heart and are confident about their chances.
'We have a few good centres on the bench,' said Wu Kwok-fung, SCAA's starting point guard.
'Siu Kim-wing has done a very good job for us in the circumstances.'
'It was upsetting when [Tam] got injured, but we have enough guys to win this series.'
SCAA will need to stop Fukien's Yung Kam-wah and Chung Ming-tat, both of whom excel from the three-point range, as well as Sung Fong, one of the tallest centres in Hong Kong.
'We need to defend the perimeter very well,' Wu said. 'We have to put the pressure on them, so we're going to play man-to-man defence.'
On the women's side, defending champions Bank of China (BOC) will play Fukien in another best-of-three series. BOC lead 1-0 thanks to a dominant inside game.
'They were taller and were able to get a lot of rebounds on both ends of the floor,' said Fukien coach Cheng Hok-loi. 'Every time (BOC) missed a shot, all of their players went for the rebound and were able to put the ball back in the basket. We lost a lot of points there.'
Cheng said Fukien would look to increase the pace to neutralise BOC centre Wong Lai-fong, who was dominant in the first game.
Fukien will need top performances from centre Chin Yuen-fun and Cho Kit-ying to stay alive in the competition.
'If we play our game, we have a chance,' Cheng said.
'We just have to play hard and we can win the game.'
More than 160 players from 16 teams participated in the preliminary rounds of the tournament.