SLC set to book ticket to handball final
By Jonathan Powell
With seven Hong Kong youth team members in their lineup, the boys from Shek Lei Catholic Secondary School (SLC) will be hard to beat in tomorrow's semi-finals of the All-Hong Kong Schools (Jing Ying) Handball Tournament.
SLC, from Kwai Chung, has looked the best team so far, according to coaches.
The team reached the Jing Ying final last year, but suffered an upset loss to Yan Chai Hospital Tung Chi Ying Memorial School.
'I think this is our year, and the boys feel very confident,' said SLC coach, Wong Tao.
'But we won't underestimate King's College tomorrow. We know it will be a tough match, and the boys will be focused.
'King's have two talented Hong Kong youth team players. But we know how to beat them. We know their weakness.'
In the other semi-final, Ying Wa College - the 2003 and 2004 champions - take on surprise team SKH Bishop Hall Secondary School.
'I think Ying Wa will come out on top in that one,' said Wong. 'They have better players all round. They are especially strong in offence. They have some good shooters.'
The annual tournament pits the top-ranked schools from Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, New Territories and the Outlying Islands to decide the overall SAR champion for boys and girls.
Sixteen boys' and 12 girls' sides entered last week's opening rounds. The semi-finals will be played at the Chai Wan Indoor Games Hall, while the Kowloon Indoor Games Hall will host the championship games on February 18.
Last year's boys' champions, YCH Tung Chi Ying Memorial Secondary School (TCY), crashed out of the tournament in the quarter-finals after a shock loss to Bishop Hall from Sau Mau Ping.
Among the girls, there could be a repeat of last year's championship match.
The 2003 and 2004 champions and 2005 runners-up, Confucian Ho Kwok Pui Chun College from Tai Po, have reached the semi-finals, where they will play TCY from Sha Tin, who came third last year.
The 2005 champions - CCC Tam Lee Lai Fun Memorial Secondary School from Tuen Mun - will face Shun Tak Fraternal Association Yung College from Tin Shui Wai.
Tomorrow's semi-finals start at 9.15am.