Hong Kong schoolboys were denied a third straight volleyball interport title after losing to a superior Guangdong team at the biennial tournament held in Taishan last weekend. A four-month training stint appeared to have paid off, as Hong Kong cruised to comfortable 3-0 victories over regional rivals Fukien and Macau in their opening two matches. But Guangdong, comprising boys from the Taishan schools team which placed sixth in an All-China competition recently, proved too strong as they whipped the locals 3-0. 'Guangdong were too quick and too strong for us,' said the boys' coach, Law Wing-fai, who led Hong Kong schools teams to inter-port titles in 2001 and 2003. 'They were always on the attack and our service reception was poor. But they proved they are one of the best teams in China, so it was a good lesson for us. We learned a lot from their performance, especially their serving technique.' Wong Ka-wai of Po Leung Kuk Tang Yuk Tien College, the captain of the boys' squad, was Hong Kong's star player. 'He was outstanding, because even when we were losing, he was fighting for every single point,' said Law. The girls, led by coach Lai Pok-man, were aiming to improve on their third-place finish in Macau two years ago. But their hopes were crushed after three defeats. Despite the setback, the girls were in a positive mood after being the only team to take a game off champions Guangdong in their final match. 'We won the second game 25-16 and levelled the score at 1-1 which showed good effort,' said Doris Ho Wing-chong, of the Hong Kong Schools Sports Federation, who joined the squad for their mainland tour. 'Even though they lost all three games, it was good experience, and great for them to play in front of some 1,000 cheering fans at a quality indoor arena.' The Hong Kong squad, which comprised 12 boys and 12 girls, was selected from a roster of more than 60 players who attended trials and training after the All-Hong Kong Schools Jing Ying tournament in January.