Heep Yunn School and Chong Gene Hang College were crowned champions of the 2018/2019 Nike All Hong Kong Schools Jing Ying Basketball Tournament which ended at Queen Elizabeth Stadium on Sunday.
Amid the celebrations, two teenage stars stood out for their eye-catching performances. Bobby Yip Chun-fung, who plays point guard for Chong Gene Hang College, and Yannie Chan Yan-man, of Heep Yunn School, were named the Most Valuable Players in the championships.
Bobby was the best player in the boys’ final, when his side faced defending champions, Diocesan Boys’ School (DBS).
Helped by the 19-year-old’s crucial assists and tough defence, Chong Gene Hang College thrashed DBS 76-49 to lift the Jing Ying title for the first time since 2002.
“We were trounced by DBS last year, so it is an honour to take revenge on them,” said Bobby, who scored 11 points, and was also named as the “Steals Leader” and “Assists Leader”.
“This win proves that even if we are not a traditional brand-name school, we can still rise to the top after 17 years.”
In a post-game interview, Bobby said the MVP award was the cherry on the cake, but nothing could compare to the memories he shares with his teammates. This close bond was formed over the past six months, after he was transferred from Po Chiu Secondary School in Yau Tong, whose basketball team was in Division Three.
“I wanted a bigger stage to showcase my potential, and Chong Gene Hang College, as a Division One team, offers a more comprehensive training programme,” he said.
After clinching the Hong Kong Island Division One crown and the Jing Ying title, Chong Gene Hang College is only two steps away from becoming “quadruple” champions – a title that is earned when a team wins four of the city’s biggest school b-ball competitions.
To earn this highest honour in the Hong Kong schools basketball league, they will have to come out on top at the Hong Kong Inter-school Basketball Marathon and the Panasonic Basketball Tournament in May.
“We are thrilled to win the Jing Ying tournament, but now, we will focus on training again, to realise the goal of becoming quadruple champions,” said Bobby. He added that they would carry on the team spirit, and remember the strategies that led them to victory, to help them in the remaining competitions.
Meanwhile, Yannie said she was solely focused on helping her school win the title for the seventh successive time. And the small forward did not disappoint, scoring 25 points as her team crushed Hon Wah College 66-46.
“As long as Heep Yunn takes the crown, it is already the best reward. Everyone who played in the finals did so well, so the MVP award is not my personal honour,” said the 17-year-old.
The Form Six student, who has taken part in three Jing Ying tournaments and led the team last year, said each one holds a special place in her heart. Having played her final Jing Ying event, Yannie said she is ready to pass on the baton to the next generation of players.
“Helping Heep Yunn win for the seventh time is the perfect end to my Jing Ying career. It means a lot to me to be able to lead younger players and let them continue the legacy,” she said.