If just four teams can form a league, so the league is formed.
The first season of Southorn Basketball League was a two-phase event with the four teams taking part in a single round-robin format, so they will fight for a “standing” (sorry, there is no “home-court” thus no advantage for that) before they enter the next and last phase of a single knock-out series, what we usually call “playoffs” (wow! It has a name!). It ‘s pretty much like anyone would see in professional basketball leagues.
The first game was played on June 25 at a place called Western Park Sports Centre. The Western Park is renamed to Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park, so the sport centre there followed the change.
Three hours were booked for two games each of the Sundays in the season, with M.I.B. and G.T. Explorers taken part in the first ever game of the League. MIB forward Jefferson Tong (#8) scored a team-high 9 points as these men in black has overcome the 12-point effort from GTE forward Michael Killeen (#11), who was coming to Hong Kong to work temporarily and is one of the first non-Chinese players of the League. MIB edged GTE 26-22 to be the first ever winner in the association.
Later on the same day, Benny Wong (#7) and Wilson Chow (#13) each scored 9 points in the team’s debut but SOUTHORN Tigers were defeated 23-53 by SAMURAI who has got three players in double digits. Jackie Lai (#11) and Micahel Chan (#20) each had 15 points and Dennis Chang (#4) got 10 points and made all his four free throws.
Two weeks later at Sheung Wan Sports Centre, SAM beat GTE 24-18 to remain unbeaten. In the same evening, SOU won their first game by a 37-34 victory over MIB, which made both teams 1-1 in two games.
After another fortnight, this time at Smithfield Sports Centre, SAMURAI defeated M.I.B. concluded the group phase by a third win in a row, earned a first seed to enter playoffs. On the other hand, SOUTHORN Tigers beat G.T. Explorers by only three points, sent the Explorers to their third straight loss and the semi-finals of SAM-GTE and SOU-MIB was set up.
On August 13, again at Smithfield Sports Centre, the semi-finals of the league has begun. SOUTHORN Tigers became the first team to reach Final by beating M.I.B. in the first game of the evening. In the next game, when failed to keep a lead they kept for three periods, the unbeaten SAMURAI was upset by the winless G.T. Explorers in the final period, which has earned them a first ever loss and in the worst timing.
The final game day of the first season was organized again at the red floor far west on HK Island, started by SAMURAI who had given all they had left for the final game, even just for the 3rd place. The white team scored 49 to the black team’s 31, M.I.B. lost by 18 points even they had a 15-11 double-double from forward Jefferson Tong.
Avoided to face the top-seeded SAMURAI in the most important game of the season, SOUTHORN Tigers fought G.T. Explorers and became the first ever winner of the League by a 25-17 victory.
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