Hong Kong realise hoop dreams at the Coliseum
It was a perfect end to Yung Kam-wah and Sung Fong's national duty when Hong Kong lifted the Eastcolight Super Kung Sheung Cup International Basketball Invitation Championship trophy on Sunday.
The pair were named the tournament's most valuable players in a vote by more than 30 journalists and Hong Kong Basketball Association (HKBA) council members.
Cheered by 10,000 fans at the Hong Kong Coliseum, the home side stunned their final opponents, Asian-American Sports Club of California, scoring 15 three-pointers and eventually winning the Super Kung Sheung Cup title for the third year in a row.
South China forward Wu Kwok-fung was the top scorer for the team with 19 points, including five three-pointers.
Winling forward Poon Chi-ho was close behind with 17 points and five assists.
Hong Kong team head coach Mak Kam-fai was impressed by the performance of his players, while team manager Reman Chan Siu-wong announced a cash bonus of $150,000 for the whole team.
'Everyone put in 110 per cent, especially our shooters who delivered their best,' said Mak, who also coaches First Division A side Fukien.
'We played fast as the two centres of Asian-American were relatively slow.'
Both Yung and Sung retired from the national team after Sunday's final to concentrate on their club commitments.
'This Hong Kong team is the strongest in the past 30 years. The younger players have proved their competitiveness,' said 34-year-old Sung, who plays for Fukien.
'It's time for me to step down. I will continue to play for my club though.'
In the third-place playoff on Sunday, Philippines beat Malaysia 84-57.
Following the success of this year's tournament, Chan Sui-tim, chairman of the HKBA, said they would try to play all the games in next year's tournament at the Hong Kong Coliseum.
'We played the semi-finals and final at the Coliseum and accumulated more than 20,000 spectators for the two days.
'The players' spirit was boosted greatly as there were more supporters,' Chan said.
'We will discuss with the Leisure and Cultural Services Department whether we can stage the whole tournament at the Coliseum next year.
'On the other hand, we will extend our invitation to the top Asian sides, such as South Korea and Chinese Taipei.'