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Tycoon centre Michael Holyfield scores 32 points against Shung Tak Alumni Eagle to help them win the first ever regular season A1 Division title. Photo: Hangout

Tycoon coach says hard work starts now after first Hong Kong A1 Division regular season basketball title

  • Tycoon and South China finish with identical record in extended 2021 season, but Chu Yiu-ming’s side stay top with a better head-to-head record
  • Playoffs involving six teams will kick off next week, with finals to begin in mid October

Tycoon head coach Chu Yiu-ming insists the club will not stop in their quest for more honours after leading them to their maiden A1 Division regular season championship on Thursday night.

A 112-83 victory over Shung Tak Alumni Eagle at Southorn Stadium wrapped up a successful campaign for Tycoon – who were only promoted to the top-flight in 2017.

They topped the 2021 regular season – which was extended amid the pandemic, and resumed in July – with eight wins and one defeat ahead of the playoffs.

Heavyweights South China had the same record in the 10-team league, but since they lost to Tycoon 89-87 this summer, they had to settle for second place in the standings.

Chu – who was also Tycoon’s coach when they won promotion, but left when they began their journey in the top flight – attributed their success to a strong determination to win.

Tang Chi-hang of Tycoon moves with the ball against Shung Tak. Photo: Handout

“We are the only ‘big four’ team that had never won the regular season, and the players were so determined to make it happen,” said the coach, who rejoined the club in 2019.


“We don’t have a long tradition like other big teams, and many of our players come from other clubs to look for more playing opportunities. But they did an excellent job to prove themselves. Their hard work and effort must be recognised.”

The other “big four” teams – South China, Winling and Eastern Long Lions – have all won the A1 Division trophy before, and will be involved in the play-offs, which begin next week.

Despite Tycoon’s historic achievement, Chu refused to draw any conclusions from the regular season, and insisted the next step will be more difficult.

“We will face more challenges in the playoffs as we have become the team to beat,” he said. “And the difference between all of these top teams is very small. Anything can happen in the next phase.”

Tycoon veteran Fong Shing-yee (right) watches Bryant Austin of Shung Tak in the match. Photo: Handout

The coach admitted he was also worried about how long his side could keep hold of American centre Michael Holyfield. The former NBA D-League player hit 32 points against Shung Tak.


“He is a free agent and may leave us if he can secure a deal with other teams in the region. We don’t know if he can be with us for the entire play-offs,” Chu said.

Two play-off matches will be held on September 27. Third-placed Winling will meet Shun Tak – who finished sixth – in the first match, while fourth-placed Eastern Long Lions face fifth-placed Pegasus Kin Lung in the second match.

The 2021 A1 Division season resumed in July, when Nam Ching met Shung Tak Alumni Eagle at Southorn Stadium. Photo: K.Y. Cheng

The winners of the first match will meet Tycoon, while South China will take on the winners of the second match in the semi-finals, to be decided in a best-of-three games format.


The two winning teams will meet in the finals, beginning on October 13, in a best-of-five games format.

South China are the defending champions after wining the title in 2019.

The 2020 season was called off because of the pandemic, while the 2021 season only began in December but was suspended one month later when the government shut down all sports facilities amid the latest wave of Covid-19 infections in the city.