Hong Kong has taken the plunge on youth for the Asian Games in Doha in the hope of giving budding local players international exposure. Nine of the 12-member squad will be making their debuts in the Asiad this December and some of the SAR's best-known stars will be absent, notably Poon Chi-ho, Ng Wah-fung, Choi Fong-yue, and captain Li Wai-lun. Hong Kong finished eighth at the last games in Pusan - their best-ever result - but Hong Kong Basketball Association chairman Norman Chan Shui-tim said this time their main purpose in Doha would be to provide the youngsters with more top-level experience. 'We hope the team can break into the top eight again as they did at the last games, yet the more important task is to offer our young players an opportunity to compete against the best from Asia. 'Some of our young players are full of potential and they can only reach a higher level by attending big events like the Asian Games.' To better prepare for the Doha Games, Hong Kong's Canadian-born coach, Tim Darling, has been secured until the end of the event, thanks to a HK$400,000 contribution from the government's Preparation Fund. The fund is for sports outside the Sports Institute's elite programme. The funding will cover Darling's salary and other training expenses. 'We hope this experienced coach can help the team,' said the chairman. 'An intensive training programme will start next month.' Of the new Hong Kong team members, Lo Yi-ting, 19, will be the one to watch after he scored 49 points in this year's Nike Youth Basketball League. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's first National Day Cup will be held this weekend at the MacPherson Stadium. Three top local teams Fukien, South China and Winling and a junior side from reigning Chinese Basketball Association champions Winnerway of Guangdong will compete for a prize of HK$50,000. Full squad for the Asian Games: Fong Shing-yee (Winling), Li Kiu-fung (Winling), Yung Man-tak (Winling), Lau Chi-kin (South China), Tam Wai-yeung (South China), Law Man-kwong (Flying Eagles), Wong Chun-wai (Fukien), Leung Chun-hung (Flying Eagles), Cheng Kam-hing (Fukien), Siu Kim-wing (South China), Lo Yi-ting (South China), Li Kim-wong (Happy Valley).