Hong Kong can compete with Asia’s best, says CBA-bound star Duncan Reid after early Fiba exit

Despite three straight defeats in Lebanon, Hong Kong’s top player says there are positives to be taken from appearing in Asia Cup

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 August, 2017, 3:11pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 August, 2017, 10:55pm

Hong Kong may have struggled to muster much of a challenge in their Fiba Asia Cup campaign in Beirut but one player emerged from the tournament with his reputation boosted.

Duncan Reid, the Hong Kong centre who is set to play for Zhejiang Lions in the mainland’s CBA league in the coming season, caught the eye with a series of impressive performances averaging 11.7 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists in a side that was, at times, hopelessly overmatched.

The SAR swiftly exited the competition after three straight defeats, the last of which came at the hands of Japan on Saturday, but Reid claimed they could hold their own in future regional competitions.

“We definitely showed that we can compete with these teams, especially Chinese Taipei,” the 27-year-old told fiba.com.

Reid pointed to his team’s lack of preparation as justification for their less than spectacular showing in Lebanon.

“We were just in a tough situation. We’re definitely the least prepared out of any team here. Our league finished on the 28th of July so we’ve had a week of practice. Most of these teams have been preparing for two months. You can see at times we’re really disjointed because we have guys from five or six teams trying to figuring it out on the fly.”

Hong Kong will now dust themselves off in preparation for the Fiba World Cup Asia Qualifiers that begin in November. They have been handed a difficult group and will go up against China, New Zealand and Korea in their quest to reach the World Cup.

Reid, who was born and raised in Hong Kong to a Canadian father, said there is much to be optimistic about in Hong Kong basketball.

“I can see us being competitive. I think we can give a couple of those teams a game and moving forward with these players and this coaching staff, I think there is a lot to be positive about.

“That game against Chinese Taipei opened a lot of people’s eyes,” he said. “If I look at it through more of a positive lens, we’re definitely moving in the right direction and when the next [Fiba Asia Cup] is in four years, hopefully we’ll still be here, we’ll be even better and more competitive.”

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The 2.05-metre Reid, who has emerged as Hong Kong’s most important player since returning from a period away studying at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, says the standard in the city’s domestic league is also on the up and up.

“The Hong Kong league has improved itself as we’ve gotten more import level players. It is still amateur and our national team is still amateur,” he said. “There is still a lot of room to go but we are definitely moving in the right direction.”

Of his own development, which saw him drafted to the CBA this season after previously being rejected for an opportunity to play there, Reid said his time away developed his skills.

“My improvement from going to Guelph and coming back was astronomical. I wasn’t even a good player in the Hong Kong league before I went but afterwards it helped me.”