23 September, 2015
03 October
8 Siu Wing CHAN (Hong Kong)
Game Report
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Hong Kong dominates Kuwait in opener

CHANGSHA-HUNAN (2015 FIBA Asia Championship) - Hong Kong pounced on a depleted and smaller Kuwait to open hostilities in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship in dominant fashion, 87-50.

Kuwait had a fast start in this game, even leading by as many as 6 points in the first quarter, but Hong Kong got their act together, took the lead entering the halftime break, and proceeded to impose their will in the second half.

Five Hong Kongers scored in double-figures, led by Lee Ki’s 15 points. Kam Hing Cheng added 14 points, while Duncan Reid also impressed with 13 of his own. Kuwait, meanwhile, was paced by Mashari Abu-Dhom’s 15 points on the strength of 3 triples.

Turning Point: Hong Kong carried a slim 3-point lead after the second quarter, but they outscored their foes, 12-3, in the first five minutes of the third period to erect the game’s first double-digit lead, 41-29. Coach On Hing King’s players would never relinquish that lead, and, instead, blew out the Kuwaitis, who only dressed ten men for the tournament.

Stats Don't Lie: With nobody standing taller than 198cm/6ft 6in for Kuwait, Hong Kong had their way in the paint. The victors outrebounded their victims, 49-33, and also scored 44 points in the paint compared to just 20 for the hapless Kuwaitis. Reid and Wai Kit Szeto, in particular, just couldn’t be stopped.

Game Hero: At 205cm/6ft 9in, Duncan Reid certainly towered over everyone on the hardwood. The soon-to-be 26-year-old was efficient on offense, making 5 of his 7 field goal attempts, but even more impressive was his grabbing 13 rebounds, recording 2 steals, and blocking 1 shot. Suffice to say, Reid had his way with the Kuwaiti frontline in this game.

The Bottom Line: On paper and with a complete roster, Kuwait should have been the favorites in this match-up, but the absence of a couple of key players from their final roster and the size of Hong Kong ultimately sealed the Kuwaiti quintet’s fate. This was the best possible start to the competition for Hong Kong, which finished in the top ten of the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship, but the road is bound to get much more treacherous as they face powerhouse Philippines and strong Palestine next.