Lacrosse World Championships: Hong Kong ready to kick off historic Israel edition against debutants Luxembourg

Head coach Scott Browning’s 24-man squad will face the championship debutants, a day before the games officially start due to last-minute scheduling changes

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 July, 2018, 1:45pm
UPDATED : Friday, 13 July, 2018, 12:47pm

The Hong Kong men’s lacrosse team has been selected to kick off the 2018 FIL Lacrosse World Championships in Netanya, Israel, in what will be the quadrennial tournament’s first time outside of the US, Canada, England and Australia.

Head coach Scott Browning’s 24-man squad will face championship debutants Luxembourg on Wednesday, a day before the games officially start due to last-minute scheduling changes.

“They approached myself and the Luxembourg coach about playing the game the night before. Both [Hong Kong] and Luxembourg were in town early and would not have been disadvantaged in any way – we’re going to enjoy that spotlight,” said Browning.

“This is the biggest lacrosse tournament in the world and this year is its biggest event with so many teams. We’re thrilled to be a part of it and will be making sure we compete in every game.”

Hong Kong will compete in the “Olive Division” pool against Poland, Luxembourg and Uganda at the Wingate Institute, Netanya.

This is Hong Kong’s fifth appearance at the championships, with promising 21-year-old goalkeeper Marco Leung Shek-hin the youngest Hong Kong player travelling to Netanya.

Form could not be any better after both the men’s and women’s team captured the Hong Kong Lacrosse Open championship earlier this year, upon which Browning based his final roster for Israel.

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“We’ve got a pretty balanced team with talent on both ends of the field,” said Browning, who has participated in three world championships with Canada and now three with Hong Kong.

“These guys have been working hard for over four years and this is their opportunity to showcase all the improvements we’ve made. It’s going to be very rewarding and satisfying for all of us.”

All eyes will be on seasoned attacked Evan Mok-Lamme and Open MVP Stephen O’Brien, who bring a wealth of experience from their US collegiate playing days.

The tournament originally consisted of 48 teams but fellow debutants Bulgaria and Haiti have since withdrawn. As a result, both the White and Olive pools have been affected, with top African lacrosse team Uganda joining Hong Kong’s group.

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This is the only pool with four teams, meaning there will be two second-seed teams instead of the conventional one.

“We’re being disadvantaged in that sense, but that said, getting the opportunity to play Uganda is a lot of fun. They bring a lot of excitement and are the only team from the African continent. It is what it is and we’re ready to play,” said Browning.

Hong Kong squad

Joey Au Yeung Chun-yu, Chan Hon-hei, Seven Cheng Cheung-wai, Tommy Cheung Ming-hong, Jacky Chu Check-kiu, Marco Fung Lai-yin, Peter Gut, Nicolo Hayat, Ho Chak-sum, Jacky Ho Chun-hin, Jay Lee Cheuk-hin, Lee Tsz-kin, Marco Leung Shek-hin, Julian Leung, Geoffrey Ling Chun-wai, Kelvin Mak Ho-chun, Nelson Mak Ngai-long, Evan Mok-Lamme, Stephen O’Brien, Matthew Tse, Raymund Wei Wing-kit, Joseph Carlton Wich, Wesley Wong See-hon, Wilson Wong Wai-kin