HK geared for tough test
Hong Kong's boys and girls are ready to take on the best at the fourth Asian Schools Basketball Championships 2007, to be held in Nha Trang, Vietnam, from August 23 to September 1.
All the players have undergone intensive training for the past six months to ensure that they are well-prepared for the competition.
They also attended camps aimed at honing their skills and improving their physical condition.
The girls' camp was held from July 29 to 31 at the Hong Kong Institute of Education in the New Territories. The boys attended special training sessions at the City University of Hong Kong from August 12-15. Each squad comprise 12 students aged 16 to 18.
The competition was last held in Chengdu in 2002. Boys' head coach, Shih Wei-chung, said Hong Kong did very well five years ago when they finished second.
'The standard of the team this year is fairly good,' said Shih. 'We hope to enter the semi-finals and compete with strong teams.'
Shih said China, Thailand and Malaysia, along with hosts Vietnam, would pose a tough challenge.
'After the six-month training stint and especially the four-day camp, the team's skills, physical condition as well as tactics have significantly improved,' Shih added.
'The only thing they lack is experience at international competitions.'
Girls' head coach, Lui Sheung-hung, said his team also lacked international exposure.
'Most of the players are new to the squad,' said Lui.
'I hope the girls can gain valuable experience through this competition.'
The Hong Kong girls' team came third last time and they would like to achieve a better result this year.
Wong Tsz-ching, 18, captain of the squad, said: 'We are very united and try to reach a consensus on all issues. I believe we will enjoy the matches very much.'