×

Follow FIBA on Facebook

17 February, 2020
23 February, 2021
7 Ki Lee (HKG), 7 Ki Lee (HKG)
13/01/2020
News
to read

Ever-improving Lee Ki hopes home games will excite and expand Hong Kong fanbase

HONG KONG (Hong Kong) - The FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers draw placed Hong Kong in one of the toughest groups along with Australia, New Zealand, and Guam in Group C. Hong Kong have already had experience going through the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers over the past two years. They’ll now have another go round in a similar setting starting this February when the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers officially tips off.

As someone who has been a staple of the Hong Kong national team over the years with three FIBA Asia Cup appearances, Lee Ki knows that it won’t be an easy path up ahead for him and the team. Hong Kong will play their first Qualifier game at home on February 20, 2020 against Guam, a team Lee Ki mentions to have done very well at the East Region Pre-Qualifiers in 2018.

They will then play another home game against Asia Cup defending champions, Australia, on February 23, 2020. Hong Kong was one of the first teams to play against Australia in their Asia Cup debut in 2017, suffering a 99-58 loss.

(Hong Kong vs Australia, FIBA Asia Cup 2017)

“They are coordinated. The players are tall, quick, and athletic,” said Lee Ki.

It won’t be until later in the year on November 27, 2020 when Hong Kong plays their first away game in New Zealand against a team Lee Ki notes as strong and tall. Hong Kong had already played against New Zealand twice during the World Cup Asian Qualifiers, both resulting in losses.

(Hong Kong vs New Zealand, FIBA World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers)

It might be a challenging task for Hong Kong through this process, but it’s a challenge Lee Ki is anticipating and excited for.

“They are all very competitive so I am looking forward to play against every one of them.”

Hong Kong is one of the smallest nations according to area with a population of roughly 7.5 million, but the love for basketball is undeniable as seen by multiple courts on the streets made available for everyone to play on. Having the chance to host home games at the World Cup Asian Qualifiers was a great opportunity for fans to watch their hometown heroes up close against some of the regions’ best. The Asia Cup Qualifiers is expected to bring the same intensity and atmosphere to Hong Kong once again.

“More local sports fans had the chance to witness and international event,” Lee Ki said of the experience during the World Cup Qualifiers. “We gained support from our home crowd which boosted our performance and morale.”

“It is a rare opportunity for local fans to witness such a mega event,” he added about his excitement to play at home again during the Asia Cup Qualifiers. “Hopefully more locals will become basketball fans and support local competition, too.”

The more fans crowd to go watch Hong Kong play at these major events, the more they will be able to watch Lee Ki and his growth towards becoming one of the deadliest shooters in Asia. The 31-year-old has improved his long range sharpshooting every year and should be noted on opponents’ scouting reports as a player to shadow on defense.

Competition

3PFG%

FIBA Asia Cup 2013

27.6%

FIBA Asia Cup 2015

30.2%

FIBA Asia Cup 2017

46.7%

World Cup Asian Qualifiers

51.4%

 

“Perseverance and determination,” Lee Ki says of the key factors that contributed to his improvement as a shooter. “I set goals for myself every day and work hard to improve. I stay humble and learn from every player I play against with.”

 

(Lee Ki, FIBA Asia Cup 2015)

The 1.80M (5’11”) shooting guard has gained a lot of mileage and experience playing in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) with Hong Kong Eastern where he is a champion and also one of the best players in the regional league. Still, Lee Ki emphasizes the importance of the need for strong local competitions in order for the entire basketball scene to keep on moving forward.

“We need more financial support and infrastructure to improve. A Local professional league is significant for the development of Hong Kong basketball.”

Fans will get to see how far Hong Kong basketball has come and how much further they can go over the 6 games to be played at the Asia Cup Qualifiers. Whether it will be on their homecourt or when they visit the other countries in their group, you can be sure that Lee Ki and Co. will be giving it their all.

A reminder for his defenders: Don’t leave Lee Ki open.

View this post on Instagram

How good was 🇭🇰’s @leeki at the 2017 #FIBAAsiaCup ?! #🏀 #ThrowbackThursday

A post shared by FIBA Asia Cup | Basketball (@fibaasiacup) on

 

Hong Kong’s Schedule at FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers:

February 20, 2020 vs Guam
February 23, 2020 vs Australia
November 27, 2020 at New Zealand
November 30, 2020 at Guam
February 18, 2021 at Australia
February 21, 2021 vs New Zealand

FIBA