Air Hawk swoop on basketball crown

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 August, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 August, 2005, 12:00am

Team Air Hawk are the 2005 Nike Youth Basketball League champions after they came back from a first-leg loss to defeat Team Turbulence in the title decider on Saturday.

Facing an uphill task after the 80-73 defeat last Thursday, Air Hawk rose to the challenge and raced into a lead they never relinquished.

However, they were leading by a slim margin with two minutes remaining, and when NBA superstar Lebron James entered the Southorn Stadium arena to a raucous reception, the players needed to remain focused.

They held on to win 71-58 and claim an overall victory by a six-point margin.

'We won because we had a nice balance of skilful players who all worked hard for each other,' said coach Chu Ka-chun, who also guided last year's Nike League champions.

'We played tough defence and showed great concentration. We had a lot of strength in depth, not just the starting five. We played more freely in the second leg, and focused more on three-point shots to gain a lead. We scored about 10 three-point shots today.'

Air Hawk's Au Keung-kin was surprised when he was awarded the tournament's Most Valuable Player (MVP) trophy.

'Au has been a star for us,' said Chu.

'People underestimated his talent. They didn't realise that this guy has all-round skills and is not just a rebound winner. He scored 10 to 15 points, and 10 to 12 rebounds in every game. He deserves the award.'

Junior Air Zoom clinched the under-16 title.

The team's Wong Yeun-sun was named play-off MVP.