The final image of the 2016-2017 was that of Hong Kong Eastern celebrating at the OCBC Arena, winners of the ABL championship in only their first season in the league. They dominated all season long, finishing with the number one seed and losing only five times all season long, one of the most impressive team debuts in ABL history.
This year, they’re back to defend their championship. Hungry for more in their second season and with more challengers along the way, Hong Kong Eastern has its sights set on another title when the team makes its debut against Alab Pilipinas at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday, November 19.
Leading the charge once again will be their talented World Import, the electric Marcus Elliott. The reigning World Import MVP returns for a second tour of duty after setting a new record for most points in a single season, tallying 497 markers. Elliott averaged 24.9 points, 6.9 rebounds 6.2 assists in his smashing ABL debut, and will look to recapture the magic of their incredible season.
Also joining him is Tyler Lamb, last season’s Heritage Import MVP. Lamb showed just how dynamic his abilities are on the basketball floor in his first season with Hong Kong after playing for Hi-Tech Bangkok City two years ago, as he put up well-rounded numbers of 19.0 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists. Both Lamb and Elliott are tremendous floor spacers combining to hit almost five triples per contest at 39% from the field. Look for Hong Kong’s dynamic duo to lead the charge once again for Hong Kong Eastern.
Missing this season will be the presence of flamboyant Heritage import Steven Guinchard, but in his place is the debuting Christian Standhardinger, a Filipino-German who was the number one overall pick in the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association Draft. Standhardinger is a polished big man who can play with his back to the basket as well as facing up his opponents. He’s also a high IQ defender that works well in fortifying the paint. He is fresh from stints with the Philippines’ national team in both the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup and the 2017 SEA Games. His rugged play helped the Philippines claim the SEA Games gold medal. Look for Standhardinger to provide Hong Kong with ceiling as their man in the middle.
While the imports of Hong Kong are no doubt impressive, the locals of the squad are also some of the most polished we have in the ABL. Six local players return for the Long Lions, led by sharpshooter Lee Ki. Lee was also one of the most dependable shooters on the team last season as well as a catalyst for the team’s rugged full court defense. He displayed his scoring prowess and sharpshooting as the Hong Kong National Team’s star player in the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup. While last season’s team captain Fong Shing Yee and Chan Siu Wing are not on the roster to start the season, that will give more opportunities to Lau Tsz Lai, Wu Cheuk Pan, Chung Chun Sing and Ip Chun Kit. The light will be shining especially on another Hong Kong National Team player, Adam Xu, who has been recruited to join Hong Kong Eastern this season.
Having a bumper crop of talented imports will help ease the transition of the locals of Hong Kong into their new roles. But by season’s end, expect them to be just as effective as last year’s dominating squad. Hong Kong Eastern is raring to extend their domination of the ABL once again. Will lightning strike twice?
Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Team 2017-2018 Opening Day Roster
|Jersey No.||Name||Player Category||Height||Weight||DOB|
|00||Ip Chun Kit||Local||6’2″||187 lbs||24-Mar-92|
|1||Tyler Lamb||Heritage Import||6’5″||207 lbs||16-May-91|
|2||Marcus Elliott||World Import||6’3″||187 lbs||24-Apr-84|
|3||Lee Ki||Local||5’10”||185 lbs||16-Oct-87|
|4||Ryan Moss||World Import||6’7″||231 lbs||04-Apr-74|
|11||So Sheung Ying||Local||6’2″||176 lbs||29-Jun-92|
|14||Tang Chi Hang||Local||6’3″||220 lbs||21-Jan-92|
|15||So Chi Lok||Local||6’0″||187 lbs||12-Nov-89|
|16||Adam Xu||Local||6’5″||210 lbs||16-Feb-93|
|29||Chung Chun Sing||Local||6’4″||172 lbs||10-Jan-91|
|30||Wu Cheuk Pan||Local||6’8″||198 lbs||23-Nov-93|
|34||Christian Standhardinger||Heritage Import||6’8″||220 lbs||04-Jul-89|
|35||Ngai Wing Fai||Local||6’4″||190 lbs||12-Mar-93|
|88||Lau Tsz Lau||Local||6’0″||181 lbs||04-Nov-90|