BASKETBALL

Eagle soar to first regular season title

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 June, 2013, 6:47am

Winling did Eagle a huge favour by defeating South China 88-74 at Southorn Stadium last night that enabled Eagle to clinch their first A1 Division regular season title since they were promoted to the top flight eight years ago.

As a result, both Eagle and Winling finished with six wins and one defeat in the eight-team league, but Winling's lone loss against Eagle earlier in the tournament meant they had to settle for second place. South China, who could have finished first had they won last night, finished third, while Fukien, who defeated On Ching 102-72 in another match last night, were fourth.

All the top four teams have now reached the season play-offs which begin next week.

On Tuesday, champions Eagle will take on fourth place Fukien, while Winling will meet South China again at the same venue. The two winners will then meet in a season play-off final in a best-of-five format. The first-round play-offs were contested over a best-of-three format.

Winling could have avoided meeting South China in the first round of the play-offs had they lost to the Caroliners last night, but team manager Lam Chik-cheong said: "We wanted to beat them to prove our quality."