Boys' basketball team respond far too late to Jiangsu

Kevin Kung
Kevin Kung |

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Hong Kong's athletes competing in the All China Secondary Schools Students' Games in Inner Mongolia have looked a little nervous so far.

The boys' basketball team were ultimately outclassed by Jiangsu in their opening match in Baotou on Wednesday - losing 62-31 - although they fought back well in the closing stages. In their second match yesterday, the Hong Kong boys lost to Beijing 36-79.

Their counterparts on the girls' basketball team also lost their first match. The girls put up a spirited fight before losing 75-49 to Beijing, one of the favourites to win the title.

The taller and more muscular boys' basketball team from Jiangsu were always going to pose a daunting challenge for Hong Kong's smaller-sized players. However, Hong Kong will also know that they failed to perform in the early stages of the contest.

They looked nervous and tense at the start, and appeared to relax and find their confidence only when the contest was already lost.

They trailed 0-6 before they got some points on the board thanks to captain Andy Yee Hon-fai.

However, Jiangsu remained dominant and widened the gap, and the result was never in doubt.

Hong Kong's shooting guard Fung Yat-long said he was disappointed with the performance. "We made a very slow start and never got going until towards the end," he said. "But by then it was far too late to catch up."

Siu Wing-ho, the Hong Kong boys' coach, said: "Our rivals were a much more talented team, but I think we could have played much better than we did. We had a game plan, but our shooting accuracy let us down badly.

"The team were also slow to get started and had to play catch-up."

The performance of Hong Kong forward Calvin Au Yeung was one of the few positives in the game, said Siu.

"He looked comfortable out there and did well in defence and offence. But he is the only one to have played in the Games before," the coach added.

"I hope Calvin's confidence will inspire his teammates for the rest of the tournament."