2023-09-24 09:23:33
Six new teams in the third SBL season

Three months after the Trojans becomes the second champion of the Southorn Basketball League, the third season has begun with six more new teams, which has doubled the size of the league to twelve teams.

Led by Leo Chow and some members from M.I.B., a seventh team has joined the league which is called “GRIZZ“, probably there are guys from Vancouver. On the other hand, two players from the defending champion has left Trojans and formed a new team “T-REX“. Further, Bryant Chan from the G.T. Explorers joined his own friends in another new team “Challengers” while Anson Cha, who was brought to play for SOUTHORN Tigers by their FC Wilson Chow, started another team “V’s” with mostly their Hawaiian friends.

While some new teams were formed by former players, two more teams joined the league who are led by players* who probably are friends of former players. “Wild Beasts” and “Photons” completed an even number for the league and with a total twelve teams, the league is divided into two divisions, namely FLIGHT and FORCE.

Therefore, the third season of Southorn Basketball League has begun on March 25, 2007, which was in fact started in less than two years before this basketball fraternity was born.

*Please let us know if you remember the story behind these two new teams, it’s hard to dig out exactly what had happened before the connection between the league and them was established now, 14 years later.

Trojans was the champion in the 2nd season of SBL

With two new teams joined to play, and started in late September of 2006, the second season ended in the first week of 2007.

In their second season, SAMURAI lost only once in five games before play-offs, an one-point loss to M.I.B. The first-seeded team however lost just in their first play-off game against Trojans, which made them lost in the first game after group phase being the top team twice in a row.

With that one-point victory over SAMURAI, M.I.B. had a 3-2 record against the five teams of the league. By beating G.T. Explorers in a first round match-up, M.I.B. had a chance to revenge their group-phase loss to H.F.C., which was the first game of this second season and it was a close game which they lost by only a 5-point game. However, the re-match is a lopsided loss for these men in black.

In the last game of group phase this season, H.F.C. became the first SBL team to score over 50 points by beating Trojans 54-42 at Sheung Wan Sports Centre, and the victory made them the only team other than SAMURAI to have a 4-1 record and the second seed entering play-offs.

After both losing the first round in play-offs, SOUTHORN Tigers and G.T. Explorers, the two finalists in the first season, met for a consolation for the 5th place in this six-team league. Still, this game has become exciting by being the first ever SBA game which had scored more than a combined 100 points.

SAMURAI, same as the previous season, beat M.I.B. in the 3rd-place game, a 36-23 victory and was again a 2nd Runner-Up.

By upsetting SAMURAI and by routing M.I.B. respectively, Trojans and H.F.C. met each other in the ultimate game of the second Final of the Southorn Basketball League.

Behind eleven points from Jerry Lee and Edward Wong, Trojans overcame 19 from Tabo Chak and beat H.F.C., another new team of the season, 38-35 in the Final.

Before the Final games of the season were played, the first ever Three-Point Shootout was organized. Trojans Patrick Tse beat teammate Billy Ip and M.I.B. Leo Chow in the final round to become the first Three-Point King of the league. Patrick had yet to make an in-game three-point shot until 3 years later in 2010, during an April game against D.S.F. when he already had returned to Tigers.

Patrick Tse in the Three-Point Shootout
The two new teams were H.F.C. and Trojans.

After G.T. Explorers upset SAMURAI in the semi-final and the 5-sunday first season of Southorn Basketball League has been rounded up by a SOUTHORN Tigers victory in 2006, the League did not end there. Instead of simply doing it again with the four teams played together for two months, a second season was confirmed to begin with two expansion teams.

We don’t know how to translate “friend’s friends” in English more “lively”, but this is really what had happened to the expansion.

Martin Khan (#6) from G.T. Explorers, like many of the players already in the league, played basketball with of course more than one group of friends and so, he approached the League (a person?) and asked if his friends could join. This was how H.F.C. became the 5th team of SBL.

On the other hand, colleagues of Patrick Tse (#8, SOUTHORN Tigers) from a company of horse business (what does that mean!?) were interested to form a team to play organized basketball, together with some other, again, “friend’s friends”, a sixth team Trojans concluded the first ever expansion of the League, which has become a six-team team group after the four-team series ended.

Two more teams does not make too much a difference in terms of scheduling, while instead of three hours for two games, four hours would be reserved for three games each Sunday and the extra hour of time could still be spread and there were again plenty of time before and after each game for warm-up and cool-down.

Therefore, still in 2006, the second season of the Southorn Basketball League tipped off again.

After the Player Game Finder is back earlier this year, the Milestone Watch has also returned and a new tool Multi-player Game Finder is added to HOOPS.HK. Both pages are placed under the main menu now.

On the other hand, on Player Game Finder page, a new item of “Game Number” is added. For example, you can find who have cumulated more than 100 points in their first 10 games, or if you would like to know who have scored 20 or more points in the début.

A “Player Streak Finder” is still in progress, and it is hopefully to be done during this hiatus.

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.

M.I.B. 2006
G.T. Explorers 2006
SOUTHORN Tigers 2006

Four teams, one league

No SBL games were played since the start of 2020, and very likely the League will remain hibernated for the rest of the year. In June 2006, the first game of Southorn Basketball Association tipped off at Western Park Sports Centre, which is called Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park Sports Centre now, and the love of basketball is still going on for 14 years.

As a matter of fact, after several months of pandemic, while the NBA is going to resume in July, even in a different format, at a different location, with different views and opinions from different players, the situation of the sports centre in Hong Kong should finally return to normal in the next few weeks. Still, no SBL game is expected to be arranged the rest of the year, at least not in the same format as before. The league should come back in 2021.

Since the beginning of the third millennium, a group of friends and old schoolmates, who have entered another stage of their lives after graduated from their schools and universities or come back from the other side of the world, started to play more often and regularly in indoor courts, either because feeling it’s enough being outplayed by the younger ones in street courts, or just become wealthy enough to enjoy more actions with the protection from sunshine and rain, as well as the desire to play with the air conditioner.

While the term Big Data was not yet very popular to the public, at the time when the first iPhone was not yet released, statistical analysis has already taken an important role studying the performance of teams and players of sports. With some tables and chairs provided by the local sports centres, some paper and pencils, and some people who were players but at least being the 13th person (don’t be late, man!) on the floor or were either really non-players but attended (i.e. WAGs) who can work as statisticians, these guys take stats and created a webpage for even these unorganized, casual games.

In 2006, not long after the website had gathered a lot of numbers to make these ordinary citizens look like basketball stars with, for instance, “scoring average”, this bunch of silly basketball players were (or at least one of them was) itchy for the idea of forming a “League”.

With the main group of these basketball friends who played often together in indoor courts, they thought there should be enough numbers of players to set up four teams, a number that would not make the league’s scale too small or too silly to be called “a league.”

Three teams were formed with a majority of their players coming from the same school, and they are called SOUTHORN Tigers, SAMURAI and M.I.B. while a fourth team was born together, which is called G.T. Explorers, formed basically by colleagues working in the same company. This four-team structure has given birth to the Southorn Basketball Association.

Voila the Splash Uncles in 2019, when SOUTH has made 50 three-point baskets in the previous season of After Thirty Five.

WHERE are you going? The Location Page is available again now.

A direct google map image is no longer available but a link to Google Map is put on each location page, even I don’t think those who are reading this does not know how to go there. It could still be useful if you, somehow, forgot where it is, or if you are new to indoor games.

Also listed there are the best players and teams for major statistics, so you can find who are the best on the basketball floor of each of the locations.

One little improvement to previous version is that, data for Western Park Sports Centre is now grouped together with Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park Sports Centre. In the old website, they are regarded as two separate places. The page for Western Park Sports centre is still available but is no longer listed separately.

Player Game Finder is back, and should be debugged, hopefully.

The page is available from main menu > Analytics > Player Game Finder, or simply click here: http://hoops.hk/analytics/player-game-finder/