In the final elimination round game of the 2019 ABL seasons, Hong Kong Eastern ended their campaign exactly how they started it with a dominant 101-70 victory against the Wolf Warriors, Sunday night at the Southorn Stadium in Wan Chai.
Assured of a seventh spot and awaiting a date with defending champion San Miguel Alab Pilipinas in the quarterfinals, coach Edu Torres knew a win would not matter in the standings but he still pushed his players to be at their best and the result was another devastating win as they swept the season series against the ABL newcomers.
After a slow start in the first quarter, it was the bench that broke the game wide open for Hong Kong Eastern with Lau Tsz Lai catching fire. The guard entered the game with three minutes remaining in the opening period and the score tied at 12-all.
He got started with a long two quickly followed by two triples as they surged ahead 28-16 at the end of the first 10 minutes. Lai knocked down four more triples in the second period without missing a single shot as Hong Kong Eastern grabbed a commanding 62-38 halftime lead. Upon his return late in the third quarter, he nailed a floater before adding another triple, his longest of the night, to extend their lead 84-49.
Lau finished with 25 points on 9 of 10 shooting from the field.
“I was not surprised at all because he is a great shooter,” said Torres after the match. “He works really hard in practice and we all saw the result.”
Michael Holyfield backed him up with 20 points and 13 rebounds while O’Darien Bassett also finished with a double-double of 14 points and 10 assists. Hong Kong Eastern had 31 assists in the contest and knocked down 17 of 35 attempts from beyond the arc.
The Wolf Warriors only had two imports in the lineup and were without leading local scorer Cai Chen. Mike Bell had 28 points on 10 of 13 shooting from the field while adding 10 rebounds. Sun He Feng had his best performance of the season with 19 points and six rebounds but it would nowhere near enough to contend against the red-hot home squad.