Crystal basketball gazing

Crystal basketball gazing

Kevin Kung looks at three of the top boys' teams in the run-up to the inter-school competition

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Top school basketball players (from left) Xavier Yip, Angus Lee and Marco Chiang.
Top school basketball players (from left) Xavier Yip, Angus Lee and Marco Chiang.
Photo: Edmond So/SCMP
In a few weeks' time, the group stage matches of the Inter-school Basketball Competition (Division One, Kowloon) will begin. Young Post talked to players from last year's top three teams.

It was a half-half situation last season. La Salle College showed stunning determination and strength in the Inter-school Competition and Jing Ying Tournament - the first two competitions of the year - and brought those titles back to Kowloon City.

But Diocesan Boys' School (DBS) won the next two major tournaments - the Panasonic Cup Schools' Basketball Championship and Hong Kong Inter-school Basketball Marathon.

DBS are still in good shape. Form Six student Xavier Yip Sze-nok says the third-place team in last year's Inter-school Competition is now packed with "more than enough" outstanding players in all positions, and are working really well together.

Xavier, a small forward, is confident his team will enter the final of the inter-school contest this year, after missing out in the past two years. "We have the ability to win all four titles this year. Actually, we also had a strong line-up in the previous two years, but errors cost us victory," says Xavier. "We are now a more stable team; you can tell from our performance in the previous two tournaments."

On the other hand, defending champions La Salle lack star players. Karton Ma Ho-chun, Andy Yee Hon-fai and Lo Kit-long, who led the team to their two titles last year, have all graduated.

Point guard and captain Angus Lee Chun-wai admits La Salle's players may not be as good as their main rivals. But he says: "For us, it's not about individual ability. We are better playing together as a team. My biggest wish is that we could show the team spirit we had when we were in C grade. We were fresh and had no fear then."

While the spotlight is on DBS and La Salle, it's hard to forget that Ying Wa College won four consecutive inter-school titles starting from 2007/08, and even though they failed to win any major title last year, they could make a strong comeback this season.

Ying Wa has been boosted with the inclusion of shooting guard Marco Chiang Yiu-on, who returned from the United States in February.

"My family faced financial problems and couldn't afford to pay for my high school studies in the States, so I came back to my hometown and joined Ying Wa," says Marco, a Form Five student.

Marco, 19, says he had some problems communicating with his teammates at first, but now everything is fine. "After months of training with the team, I am ready to play my part. We have many star players, and I may not be able to start most games, but I will fight for more court time in the inter-school competition," he says. "I want to help my school win titles."

So which two teams will battle it out for the inter-school title in front of a full house at Southorn Stadium in Wan Chai in December? It's tough to make a prediction, but you can be sure that DBS, La Salle and Ying Wa will give it their best shot.

The schedule of this year's Inter-school Basketball Competition has not yet been released. But you can log in to www.hkssf-hk.org.hk/hk/sec/index.htm or Young Post's Twitter account for the latest updates

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