The seven SAMURAI players watched their 18-point lead in the final period evaporated in minutes and could do nothing, but despite three treys from Ka Wai Fu and Raymond Pak finished a four-point play, GRIZZ was short to complete probably the biggest comeback as they lost 36-40 on the first day of the season.
Eric Ngai, the former centre of the defending champion Dream Team, made his first two attempts in the new uniform and scored the game’s first four points for 4-0 lead before Leo Chow hit from deep and Ho Yin Chan made another basket for a 5-4 lead. But GRIZZ failed to score again in the period and was down at 8-5 in the first period.
Chi Chiu Au and Eric Ngai combined for six points and Jack Chiu added two as SAMURAI extend the lead to 16-7 mid-way through the second period. Leo Chow scored five straight points to end the first half as GRIZZ cut the lead back to two at 16-14.
Leo Chow was a perfect 4-4 from the field in the first half with 10 points.
SAMURAI begin the second half with two 5-1 and 8-0 runs and lead by twelve near the end of the third period, just beforeKa Wai Fu scored his first points of the game but GRIZZ was still down at 29-19.
Two straight three-point shots by Chi Chiu Au and Chi On Lau capped another 8-0 run to start the final period and the SAMURAI was supposed to look safe with a 18-point advantage. But GRIZZ may not agree.
Since then, the exhausted SAMURAI could do nothing but foul.
After Leo and Raymond Pak each added a free throw, Ka Wai Fu hit from down town and cut the lead back to 37-24. Chi Chiu Au answered a two but Ka Wai Fu hit from deep again in the ensuing possesion and Raymond was fouled under the rim. He made the free throw to finish a four-point play and it was only a 10-point lead by SAMURAI.
GRIZZ continue to have full court press. After a turnover by James Kwan, who played extended minutes with the limited SAMURAI lineup, Leo runs another fastbreak and Ka Wai Fu followed by another three-point shot and put GRIZZ within striking range at 34-39.
Both team added free throws and SAMURAI led 40-36 with less than a minute left but GRIZZ failed to score the rest of the way.
Tony Chow had 6 offensive reboudns and seven in total. Ka Wai Fu did not start the game and had only two attempts in the first half. He finished with 11 points, nine points — all three-pointers — in the final period. Leo Chow had a personal best 15 points. His previous high was 14 in 2006 Oct 8 when he hit four three-point shots in M.I.B. uniform to defeat Trojans in a 37-32 victory.
When Chi Chiu Au was going to the line for a free throw, he called his bench to replace Jack by Eric Ngai after the later was actually fouled out. Eric Ngai 6-10 from the field in three periods but did not attempt in the last 10 minutes and was called for his 5th foul during the GRIZZ’s full-court press.
Both teams were heated, while a couple of GRIZZ teammates were shouting at each other at the intermission, the SAMURAI bench was also filled with loud speeches.
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