[SCMP Archive] A potential clash of basketball titans
[First published on Nov 23, 2004] The Hong Kong International School (HKIS), crowned Hong Kong Island (Division One, Grade A) inter-school basketball champions last week, could take on Kowloon's top team, Newman College, in a friendly match.
HKIS coach Jerry Markin said a game against Newman College, regarded as the strongest team in school basketball after comfortably winning their district title and the Super-X inter-school competition in September, was a possibility.
HKIS beat St Joseph's College 59-53 in last Friday's title-decider, thereby booking their place in the All-Hong Kong (Jing Ying) tournament next month. The Jing Ying, which pits the best sides from Hong Kong, Kowloon and the six New Territories districts, will be held from December 19-23. But HKIS will be missing from the line-up because most of its students will be on holiday during that period.
St Joseph's, who finished third in the division, and runners-up Queen's College will represent Hong Kong Island at the event.
"All our players will be gone by December 17," said Markin after seeing his boys clinch the honours in both the Grade A and Grade B age groups. Newman team manager Cheung Chui-ting said he would welcome a match with HKIS.
HKIS were too strong for St Joseph's in both matches at Western Park Sports Centre. The Grade A and Grade B teams from HKIS ended their seven-game campaigns with unbeaten records.
The school's Grade B team beat St Joseph's 47-27. "HKIS are definitely the best team in our division," said St Joseph's player Wong Lok-man. "But I think Newman College would beat them."
HKIS starter Alex Wann said his team were worthy champions. "We said before the game that the team with more intensity would win it. We need to respect St Joseph's College though. They gave us a great game. They played well," said Wann.
"We had a lot of support from family and friends here today and we knew we couldn't let anyone down. We bonded well as a team. I think our win against Queen's College [on November 15] was huge, too. It got us ready for today. We weren't too confident. We knew it wouldn't be a pushover.
"Coach Markin gave us a lot of encouragement and told us what we needed to do to win."