ALEC Pettigrew continued his revival to bring some belated cheer to the Hong Kong team on the penultimate day of the 16th Asia-Pacific men's amateur team championships in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Pettigrew had begun the tournament for the Nomura Cup with an undistinguished 83 over the Royal Selangor Golf Club's Old Course. He improved to a 78 on Friday and yesterday returned a two-over-par 74. It was the best individual score by any member of the Hong Kong quartet to date. The territory remain in last place in the 13-nation event going into today's final round, but they had the satisfaction of matching Pakistan's third-day effort and beating Singapore. Hong Kong's third-round team total of 225 was 13 shots better than the previous day and an improvement of 11 on the first round. In addition to Pettigrew's 74, the other Hong Kong contributions came from Ian Hindhaugh with 75 and debutant Tang Shu-wah who had a 76. Lau Kwong-hon's 86 was discarded. Their 54-hole aggregate of 699 is 23 shots adrift of 12th-placed Singapore. At the other end of the leaderboard, Japan took over from pre-tournament favourites and defending champions Australia at the top. The Japanese total of 636 is one ahead of the Australians. Taiwan, third on 643, look to be the only other team with a chance of landing the region's most prestigious amateur team trophy. Despite holding the lead, Japan team leader Kagu Sohma was far from happy, expecting a stiff challenge from the Australians in today's final round. ''Leading by one stroke doesn't give you much hope. Tomorrow's round will definitely be crucial but I have faith in my players,'' Sohma said. With scores high in the stifling heat, Japan were indebted to Katsumasa Miyamoto whose three-under-par 69 was the best return of the day. In the individual section, first place is shared by Japan's Kazuyoshi Yonekura and Ho Chung-yuan of Taiwan. Yonekura dropped shots at the final two holes yesterday for a 73, while Ho finished with successive birdies to equal his rival. Ho's and Yonekura's score of 208, eight under par, is four shots clear of third-placed Stephen Collins of Australia.