Locals get own league

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 November, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 25 November, 1994, 12:00am

THE 1995 Hong Kong basketball season will start two months earlier than usual to accommodate a new locals-only league in mid-January.

All eight Division A1 teams have committed to the locals-only league so it will serve as a useful warm-up for their home players when the Division A1 proper gets underway in March. The exceptions are the Police team who don't recruit overseas players anyway.

Division A1, a semi-pro league comprised mostly of corporate-sponsored teams, has included mainly American foreign imports for the past four seasons and will begin as usual in March once the new locals' league is completed.

'We always used to have an all-local league long before we allowed professional players from America to join our teams. So in that sense this isn't new,' said Hong Kong Basketball Association chairman Norman Chan Siu-tim yesterday.

Chan added: 'I still believe that having overseas players here helps the local players develop.' Four is the maximum number of imports allowed per team although expatriates resident in Hong Kong for two years count as locals.

Thailand's champion team Bangkok Bank will play two games in the territory next month, against Suntex on December 3 at MacPherson Stadium and against Regal on December 5 at Southorn Stadium.