BEFORE YEAR 2000
08/13/00: CCNJ Captures 5th Straight Church League Championships
5th Annual 3on3 - A Smashing Success!
05/30/99: LA R&K Little Horse Wins NACBA National Championships
05/30/99: NY Titans Capture Inaugural Men's Senior 30-over NACBA Championships
05/30/99: SHE GOT GAME - Washington Lady CYC triumph in the Inaugural Women's National Championship
02/23/99: Rockits Triumph at RPI ournament
01/23/99: 1999 2nd Winter Basketball Classics
10/17/98: SUNS - Shine at Rutgers University Tournament
09/12/98: ROCKITS Take Two in 1st Summer Nights League
08/18/98 CCCNJ THREE-PEAT in Church League Championship
05/30/98 NY FISHMEN WIN 5TH STRAIGHT TITLE IN WORLD JOURNAL TOURNAMENT
04/26/98: 2nd Annual Asian Basktball Classic
CCCNJ Captures 5th Straight Sports For Christ Summer League Championship
Setting a standard that may never be accomplished, the Chinese Christian Church of New Jersey (CCCNJ) located in Parsippany, New Jersey captured their 5th consecutive Sports For Christ Summer Basketball Championship by defeating aptly named Higher Heights (Overseas Chinese Mission) by a final score of 55-50.
In yet another hotly contested summer basketball season, CCCNJ proved to their doubters that they were still capable of capturing the coveted title of - basketball champs. But this year's squad showed a crack in their armor by playing in numerous down to the wire games and finally losing a game for the first time in five years to Higher Heights in the preliminaries. It was only fitting that CCCNJ avenged their only loss in five years in what is probably the team's final game together (parenthood and age catching up with many of the players).
With a squad consisting of numerous players aged thirty-over (John Cheung 42, Denny Lee 37, Darin Chin 35, William Dong 35), you can see why there were so many who thought the reign of CCCNJ would end in year 2000. But with age comes experience and they showed it when it counted most. Also on the team were former or current Sports For Christ All-Stars: Ed Chan, Victor Tang, and Joe Liu. Two other notable additions to the team were Walter Ho (2000 NACBA Nationals All-Tournament selection) and Will Shih. Rounding out the squad were Wei Chan, Jack Ma and Danny Cheung (son of John Cheung).
1999 3on3 -- A Smashing Success
Once again, the 1999 version of the 5th annual 3on3 proved a smashing success as over 250 teams registered (only 130 teams accepted) within the two week signup period to participate in the #1 3on3 tournament in the City. The three weekend (Saturdays only - 7/31, 8/7, and 8/28) event saw the crowning of seven champions.
NOTE: THE SIXTH (6TH) ANNUAL 3on3 IS SCHEDULED FOR
JULY 29-30, 2000. BECAUSE OF THE OVERWHELMING RESPONSE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE 3on3, THE EVENT WILL ALSO BE RETURNING TO COLUMBUS PARK. WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOUR TEAM.
Men's All-Star Champions - NJ ASIAN KNIGHTS
Hoosier Champions - HIGHLANDERS
Men's Senior Champions - NY FISHMEN
University Champions - YOUNG LIFE ROCKITS
University Silver Champions - NEW LIFE
Angeles R&K Little Horse Wins NACBA National Championships
Written by Denny Lee 6/1/99
SETON HALL UNIVERSITY played host to the 19th edition of the North American Chinese Basketball Association National Basketball Championships. A record setting 49 teams from across the United States and Canada competed in six divisions: MEN'S ELITE; Women's/Girls Elite; University (22-under); Young Life (18-under); Hoop Dream (15-under) and Men's Senior (30-over). With six championship titles on the line, the excitement of Chinese Asian basketball was basking in its finest hour during this memorable weekend.
In the premier division (MEN'S
ELITE) of the NACBA National Championship Weekend, two familiar
foes battled it out in one of the most exciting championship finals
in the past five years. The Los Angeles R&K Little Horse narrowly
defeated the San Francisco Saints ('98 defending champions) by
a score of 51-48. These two teams are no strangers to each other
as they have previously faced each other in the championship finale
five times from 1990-1999. Complete coverage of Sunday's exciting
playoff action can be viewed below.
ELITE EIGHT (playoff bound teams)
No. 1 seed in Group competition:
Los Angeles R&K Little Horse, San Francisco Saints, Seattle Bladerunners, Washington CYC
No. 2 seed in Group competition:
Montreal Kaitas, New York Rockits AIA, San Francisco E&O Jade Arhatz, Toronto CCYAA Select B
Championship Sunday opened with a bang as playoff bound teams in the Men's Elite division began their quest for the coveted title of National Champions. In one quarterfinal matchup, the LA Little Horse defeated the San Francisco E&O Jade Arhatz 52-37. The game was played with championship intensity as the much bigger SF Jade Arhatz team played remarkably well throughout much of the game. But with less than five minutes remaining, LA held onto a 5-point lead and the ball. When the final whistle blew, a lead of five mushroomed to twelve as the LA team converted their free throws. Los Angeles was led by Kenny Phan (22 pts) and Joe Diep (12 pts). The San Francisco Jade Arhatz was paced by the scoring of their big man Phil Chang (9 pts) and Brian Yang (8 pts).
The other quarterfinal matchup pitted the host team, New York Rockits AIA versus the Seattle Bladerunners. Both teams started out cold as evidenced by the halftime score of 10-8 in favor of Seattle. The shooting was horrendous as both teams struggled to convert on their field goal attempts. Thankfully both teams woke up in the second half (just a little) as Seattle outlasted the Rockits 33-26. 6'7" Kyle Kiang led the way for the Bladerunners with 14 pts. For the Rockits, guard Tom Yih netted 7 pts.
The 10am quarterfinal game saw the defending champions San Francisco Saints defeat a much improved young Toronto CCYAA Select B team by a score of 49-29. The powerful Saints squad didn't waste any time letting their opponents know who they were playing as they pulled out to a comfortable double digit lead only minutes into the game. But that didn't discourage the Toronto team one bit as they continued to compete feverishly before succumbing in the final minutes. In an interview with Clement Chu of the Toronto B team immediately after the game. He said, "we were honored to have played against the San Francisco Saints. Our team is young and this playoff experience will definitely benefit us in the future." Leading the scoring attack for the SF Saints was Ryan Nakamura 11 pts, Dieu Vuong (9 pts) and Henry Ku (8pts). Toronto was paced by the scoring of Adrian Ho (11 pts) and Albert Tsang (6 pts).
The final quarterfinal game saw the Washington CYC defeat the Montreal Kaitas 53-33. Once again, the speed and quickness of the Washington team proved too much for the Kaitas. With lightning quick guards Chris (8pts) and Jeff Lee (10 pts) supplying the pressure defense and Keith Wang (18 pts) providing the offense, CYC was on its way to its first ever final four appearance. Ronald Chang led Montreal with 13 pts.
As expected, the Los Angeles Little Horse and San Francisco Saints teams advanced into the final four round. What was unexpected was the outstanding play of the Washington CYC and Seattle Bladerunners, as both teams were making their first final four appearance. The excitement was evident as participants and spectators were anticipating a surprising upset from one of these two upstarts. Adding to this excitement was the interesting fact that all four teams were still undefeated with each team boasting perfect 5-0 records.
In one semifinal matchup, the
LA Little Horse met the Seattle Bladerunners. The final score
of 63-49 in favor of Los Angeles didn't tell the whole story as
the surprising Seattle team was smelling upset at halftime being
down only three points, 28-25 to a more heralded Little Horse
team. The second half opened with both teams trading baskets.
But you could sense that the full court, pressure-trapping defense
of LA was eventually going to wear down the Bladerunners. In a
matter of only two minutes, LA had pulled ahead by ten points.
Point guuard Benny Hoang (18 pts) ignited his team with his all
out hustle while Kevin Su electrified the crowd with his 3-point
shooting (19 pts, five 3-pointers). On the other end, Seattle's
Kyle Kiang (19 pts) and Jim Shih (13 pts) kept their team close
by using their height advantage over the much smaller Little Horse
team. To no avail, once again the Los Angeles R&K Little Horse
advance to the Championship Game. In the end, legendary coach
John Wooden said it best, "You can't teach quickness. I'll
take speed over height any day".
Tournament MVP Benny Hoang of the Los Angeles Alpine Little Horse
The other semifinal pitted the San Fran Saints versus Washington CYC. Both teams started out by playing tremendous defense and this attributed to the low scoring halftime score of only 26-15. However, it was evident from the outset that the San Fran Saints were the more polished of the two teams as it was not their first time competing in a semifinal game of the National tournament. But this didn't stop the CYC team from thinking upset special. Only problem was Washington couldn't find a way to stop the inside play of the bigger Saints team. Midway through the second half, the Saints increased their double-digit lead and went onto a 47-31 victory. Leading the way for the SF Saints was Ryan Nakamura with 13 pts. and Dieu Vuong with 10 pts. Washington CYC was led by the scoring of Keith Wang (12 pts) and Jeff Lee (8 pts).
The script was set. Once again advancing to the Championship game was none other than the perennial favorites and long time rivals, Los Angeles R&K Little Horse and the San Francisco Saints. In their last meeting at the 1998 Finals (Philadelphia), the Saints defeated the Little Horse by racing to a double-digit lead and eventually coasted to victory. All weekend long, the signs pointed to the same outcome as the Saints preliminary round draw paired them with other playoff hopefuls-San Francisco Duke, San Francisco E&O Jade Arhatz, Philly Suns and the Boston Knights. Without a doubt, this was one of the tougher groups in preliminary play. This didn't faze the Saints as they advanced into the championship without a defeat. The Little Horse also entered the championship game without a blemish on their record. With only two players that were over six foot (6'1" Brad Au and 6'5" Ken Li), the remainder of the team ranged from 5'5" to 5'11". One can say they were undersized, but the Little Horse team went into their games with a "business as usual attitude".
The moment was finally here. You can feel the excitement in the stands as the crowd eagerly awaited the tip-off of this Championship Game. Los Angeles opened up the by banging a trey while the Saints settled for the conventional two-pointer. It was an omen of sorts as the Little Horse continued their 3-point assault by connecting on five 3-pointers in the first eight minutes of the game and jumping out to a 22-14 lead. By halftime, the Little Horse had increased their lead to 12 points, 38-26 as they netted a record setting seven 3-pointers. To make matters worse, the Saints were struggling on the offensive end as numerous shot attempts went in but ultimately rimmed out.
As the final 20 minutes of the second half was about to begin, you can feel the sense of urgency on the eyes of the Saints. In order for them to trim the lead they had to play some serious defense in the second half. They didn't disappoint the enormous crowd. The defensive pressure put on by the Saints was astounding as they completey took the Little Horse out of their offensive patterns. At the same time, the Saints were pecking away at the 12-point margin. With seven minutes left in the game, the lead had been slashed in half. The excitement of the crowd grew louder with every possession. From this point on, both teams knew that the game would be won at the free throw line. With no shot clock, L.A. had all the time in the world as they patiently moved the ball around on the offensive end. But this time the strategy worked against them as the comfortable lead they held in the first half faded slowly.
Point guards Benny Hoang (L.A.)
and Brian Jang (San Fran) were playing brilliantly as they controlled
the flow of the game for their respective teams. They were dishin
and swishin like some of the NBA stars of today. With less than
one minute remaining, the Saints had trimmed the lead to one point
after a couple of free throws by Ryan Nakamura and the Little
Horse with possession of the ball. With time ticking down, the
Saints had to foul and send their opponent to the line. They fouled
guard Benny Hoang who calmy sank two free throws to give L.A.
a three-point lead. With San Fran calling timeout and only fifteen
seconds remaining, you could feel the emotional strain of the
players as they hurried into their team's huddle. The question
amongst the electrified crowd was will San Fran take a 3-pointer
to tie the game or do they go for the quick two-point basket and
then foul immediately? The Saints inbounded the ball to point
guard Brian Jang. As he maneuvers up the court, the crowd eagerly
awaits his next move. As the clock ticked down, 8, 7, 6, Brian
pulled up for a three-pointer at the top of the key. The shot
looked good on his release but bounced off the back of the rim
along with the hopes of the San Francisco Saints. There would
be no repeat this year as the Los Angeles R&K Little Horse
defeated the Saints 51-48 and lay claim to the title of NATIONAL
CHAMPIONS in 1999.
TOURNAMENT MVP:BENNY HOANG (Los
Angeles R&K Little Horse) (2nd from right)
ALL TOURNEY TEAM:JOE DIEP (Los Angeles R&K Little Horse) (3rd from right); RYAN NAKAMURA (San Francisco Saints) (4th from right); CHRIS LEE (Washington CYC) (2nd from left in red)
Titans Capture Inaugural Men's Senior 30-over NACBA Championships
Written by Denny Lee 6/1/99
The inaugural Men's Senior 30-over National Championship was captured by the New York Titans as they defeated local rival, the NY/NJ Suburbanite Rockits 54-27. As the overwhelming favorite to win this newly created division, the Titans didn't disappoint as there average margin of victory throughout the tournament was an astounding 25 points. Led by east coast Chinese basketball sensation Beaver Ho; veteran ballers like Tony Pau, Gary Tsang, and Rich Lo, the Titans got stronger with each victory. You could tell that they wanted to claim their first Senior 30-over National Championship.
Heading into the semifinals, the Titans had not yet been tested. But this was going to change, as they were about to face local favorites, the NY Fishmen (average age 40-over) (seeded third after the preliminaries). The battled tested Fishmen had high hopes coming into the tournament and were ready to upset the much bally-hooed Titans. The first half went the way of the Titans as they led 17-11 led by the magnificent play of Beaver Ho (7 pts.). But this wasn't your typical Titan basketball game. The Fishmen were playing a physical brand of basketball that the younger Titans hadn't been accustomed to. Points in the paint were hard to come by as the Fishmen big men more than held there own. With a sense of urgency in his halftime pep talk, Coach Johnny Han of the Titans implored his team to turn up their defensive pressure and to focus on the job at hand.
The second half opened with a bang as the Titans unleashed its patented full court pressing defense which had been so useful in earlier round games. Right away the lead mushroomed to fifteen and you could feel the momentum change into the hands of the formidable Titans. The turnovers kept mounting on the Fishmen as they couldn't advance the ball into the front court. The final result 49-19 in favor of the Titans. Leading the way for the Titans, Beaver Ho (16 pts), and Gary Mar (8 pts). Pacing the Fishmen, Wing Lau (6 pts) and Ken Wong (7 pts).
In the other semifinal match, the surprising NY/NJ Suburbanite Rockits (seeded #2 after the preliminary round) tipped it off against the Montreal Mynix (seeded #6 after the preliminaries). The Mynix had advanced to the semifinal game by upsetting #3 seed, the NY Cruisers. Their confidence level was at its highest level as they hoped to stage another upset by knocking off the Rockits. But this was not the case as the Rockits didn't plan on taking the Mynix lightly. As soon as the game began, the Rockits jumped all over the older Mynix team and took a 9-0 lead. Led by the speed and shooting of Jimly Chong and Kirk Lloyd, the Rockit guards were just unstoppable. Throw in the stellar play of big man, Anthony Don, and the Rockits were on their way to a fifteen-point halftime lead.
Staying focused at halftime with a convincing lead is hard but Coach Leo Hirata of the Rockits assured his players that the game was not over. He stressed the importance of playing tough defense so that any momentum that the Mynix could sustain would be short lived. The second half opened with the Rockits best player, Jimly Chong picking up his fourth foul. The tide seemed to turn a little as the lead shrank to fewer than ten points with less than ten minutes remaining. Guards Kirk Lloyd and Eddie Shieh had controlled the tempo of the game beautifully thus far by being patient on the offensive end. With only three minutes remaining, the lead had been cut to five points. Jimly had already fouled out and the Rockits were sputtering just a little. But in the end, the Rockits prevailed by a score of 49-40. Leading the way for the Rockits was Anthony Don (10 points, 10 rebounds), Jimly Chong (10 pts), Kirk Lloyd (8 pts) and tournament coordinator, Denny Lee (10 pts).
The stage was set for a battle for the first Senior 30-over Chinese National Championship. The highly favored NY TITANS were facing the surprising NY/NJ Suburbanite Rockits. It was a familiar scene of sorts, as these two teams had met many times previously in their glory days. After the game time introductions, both teams met at half court to start the game. The Rockits won the tap but turned the ball over immediately after. With Tony Pau (All-Tournament selection) leading the way at point guard, the Titans jumped out to a convincing double-digit lead 17-4 just minutes into the game. The Rockits decided to turn to their go to guy, Jimly Chong (All-Tournament selection). Throughout the tournament, Jimly had carried the scoring burden for the Rockits and this was the time for him to shine. With a renewed spirit, the Rockits began to shoot their way back into the game. On two consecutive possessions, Jimly netted two jumpers. The momentum was slowly turning in favor of the Rockits. With two minutes left in the first half, the Rockits were only down by seven points. The Titans were missing on the offensive end and the crowd was cheering for the underdog Rockits team. Both teams turned the ball over on their ensuing possessions and with less than 45 seconds left the Rockits decided to hold for one last shot. As time counted down, Kirk Lloyd found himself with the ball on the left wing. With less than 10 seconds remaining, Kirk faked the drive, pulled up for jumper and was fouled on the way up. The shot went through the basket as the crowd cheered mightily. Kirk converted the free throw as the Rockits completed the first half of play down by only 4 points, 25-21. This was going to be a game after all. No team had trailed the Titans but this little in any of their previous games.
The Rockits felt confident that they could compete for the championship in the second half. But this excitement that was present at the end of the first half was short-lived. Disturbed by there sloppy play in the first half, the Titans was once again opened up the second half with a 10-0 spurt. It proved too much for the Rockits. The lead mushroomed to twenty as both teams emptied the benches. Tony Pau (12 pts) , Beaver Ho (12 pts), and Rich Lo (7 pts) led the way for the newly crowned champions. For the Rockits, Kirk Lloyd netted 8 pts, with Jimly Chong and Denny Lee scoring 7 pts each, respectively.
The exciting brand of basketball displayed by the participants in the Senior 30-over division was truly amazing. It was wonderful to see these players who had competed in past NACBA Nationals return to compete in this inaugural division. They were the cornerstones of our past National Tournaments and we welcome you back. SEE YOU ALL IN TORONTO!!
All Tournament(l. to r.): Tony Pau(Titans), MVP Beaver Ho(Titans), Jumly Chong(NY Rockits), and John Leung(NY Fishmen-far left).
Coverage of the First North American
Asian Womens Basketball Championship
by Bet Key Wong
These girls are not your moms China dolls. In fact, theres nothing porcelain about them. They can run, jump, rebound, shoot, dribble, steal and block. Theyve been waiting to show their stuff for years. And their opportunity finally came during the past Memorial Day Weekend when 49 teams met at Seton Hall University for the 19th North American Chinese Asian Basketball Tournament.
Hosted by the New York Rockits Athletes in Action, New York Cruisers, United East Athletic Association and Seton Hall University, this years tournament inaugurated several new divisions. Besides the Ladys Elite, the Hoop Dream (15-under) and Mens Senior (30-over) divisions were added. For Denny Lee, tournament co-coordinator and president of the Rockits, the expansion was a dream come true.
Lee, a basketball enthusiast, also coaches the New York Rockits. Basketball is more that a sport, according to Lee. Its a way to get kids off the street and stay in school. By extending the invitation to women and older and younger men, Lee envisions that basketball will have a greater positive impact on the Chinese Asian community. (Click here to read more about Denny Lee)
Thanks to Lees effort, Cheryl Wang was able compete in this years tournament. For years, she sat and watched the boys played basketball. This year, it was Cheryl who shined on the court and took the gold home. Her team, the Washington Lady CYC, won 1st place in the Ladys Elite Division. Cheryl Wang was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP).
Five womens teams competed in the first-ever North American Asian Womens Basketball Championship. Besides the Washington Lady CYC, the other teams were the Boston Lady Freemason, Toronto Lady CCYAA, New York Lady Cruisers, and United East Lady AA of New York.
On the first day of the play-off, the girls from the North seemed unstoppable. The Toronto girls dressed in blue and had tattoos. This only non-USA team was simply awesome. They wowed the spectators with their quick feet and skilled ball handling. They practically shut out every team that came their way and could take on the American girls (and guys) any time.
But it was an American team that stole the gold from the Canadians. The girls from the U.S. capital called themselves the China Dolls. But dont be fooled by the name, these dolls were no pushovers. They met Toronto in the finals and beat the Canadians by 2 points. By playing excellent defense and shooting perfect jump shots, the Washington ladies held Toronto to only six points in the second half.
Lee Anne Chong, captain of the Toronto team, credits Washington coach Alan Wang for making a difference in the final game. "At the end of the first half we had about a 10 -12 point lead mainly because we were able to capitalize on Washingtons mistakes. However the second half proved to be different. I have to give credit to their coach for changing their defense from a zone setup to man-to-man. I think that was the difference in the game. I would like to congratulate Washington on their win."
Chong also points to Torontos lack of experience in playing as a team. CCYAA, which stands for Canadian Chinese Youth Athletic Association, recruited players for the womens team on the Internet and put the team together 6 weeks prior to the tournament. Surprisingly, they got a group of highly skilled womens basketball players. In fact, Toronto players Stephanie Chau & Christine Vuong own the bragging rights to represent the city of Toronto in the Year 2000 NBA 2ball All Star Game. While the Toronto ladies are disappointed with the tournament outcome, they are determined to improve as a team. Chong hopes that more Asian women will get involved in the game of basketball and thanks tournament organizers for the opportunity for women to play.
For Alan Wang, this years victory is indeed sweet. Hes not only the championship teams coach. He is also dad to two members of the winning team. Daughter Cheryl is the MVP. Basketball is a Wang family tradition. He is proud that his daughters are continuing the family legacy. His brothers, brother-in-laws, sons and now daughters and nieces all play for the Washington teams. He also coached the first pre-National Chinese Asian Basketball Championship team.
"I hope that with sponsorship and encouragement, girls basketball will become as big as girls volleyball. These tournaments have been a great outlet for the boys for years and I hope the same thing will happen for the girls. I have made life long friends at these tournaments that I would never have had the opportunity to if not for the tournaments," says Wang.
Cheryl Wang agrees that this tournament is not about winning. "The experiences gained at this tournament are ones that go beyond the joys of victory. I know, for a fact, that the CYC China Dolls learned more than just about playing the game of basketball. We learned, more importantly, about friendship, pride, togetherness, desire, and the importance of supporting one another! The opportunity we had to play in this tournament is not only good for all women, but it is a chance to compete and experience something that men have been able to participate in for years. Like many other women, when I found out that there was going to be a womens division, I was so excited! Now, I didnt just have to sit there and watch the men play a sport that I love to play! This tournament is an excellent way to support Chinese and Asian men and women in athletics."
Triumph at RPI Tournament Tournament
Written by Eddie Shieh and Denny Lee 2/23/99
So far 1999 has been good to the New York Rockits Men's team as they captured their second consecutive championship of the new year by defeating the Rutgers B team 42-27. The Rockit's employed a tight man-to-man defense that shut down an exhausted Rutger B team. Led by the stellar play of Ed Chan and Kevin Low, the Rockits dominated down in the low post. After jumping out to early 12 point lead, the Rockits never looked back.
With a team consisting of players from the Men's Elite team and the University (college aged) team, the Rockits went undefeated (5-0) and played brilliantly throughout the tournament. Led by the surprising play of point guard Kevin Chung (University team and a member of the Baruch College varsity), the Rockits were well on their way to double digit leads in all their games. Also contributing during the tournament, was none other than University Rockits coach, Eddie Shieh, whose veteran leadership and all-out hustle made my job as a coach that much easier. Rutgers B reached the championship game by narrowly defeating the Rutgers A team, 46-39. This was shocker as Rutgers A had held a 4-1 edge in head to head matchups against their on campus rivals. In the other semifianl, the Rockits upended the X-men, 42-39. Once again, the Rockits employed their version of the Kentucky Trap and forced the X-men to 15 turnovers.
The consolation game came down
to the wire between the X-Men and Rutgers A. In the end, the X-Men
came out on top by stopping a last shot effort by Rutgers A to
an exciting win. (X-Men: 50, Rutger's A: 47).
2nd Annual Winter Baskeball Classics
Written by Denny Lee 3/19/99
ROCKITS CAPTURE WINTER CLASSICS.....Thirteen teams turned out for the first Asian tournament of the year in New Jersey on Saturday, January 23rd. The site was the Sportsplex at the Meadowlands in Carlstadt, New Jersey and the venue - The 2nd Annual Winter Basketball Classic sponsored by asianhoops.com and the New York Rockits AIA.
The Men's AAA division saw the New York Rockits go undefeated throughout the tournament as they defeated the Philadelphia Warriors by a score of49-44 in the championship game. The narrow margin of victory was indicative of the way the game was played as both teams struggled offensively after a playing in four previous contests earlier in the day. Early on it seemed that the Rockits had left their A game behind. The Warriors jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead as the Rockits had trouble executing against the zone defense. After a quick time out, the Rockits came out energized and created a few easy baskets thanks to their stifling man to man defense. As usual, the guard tandem of Ed Lau and Tony Wong created havoc for the Warriors team. Offensively, they both had a passion for passing the ball and setting up their teammates. Defensively, they were much quicker than their opponents as they consistently cut off passing lanes and recorded numerous steals. By halftime, the Rockits had taken a slim 22-20 lead. The second half saw both teams exchange baskets frequently with the Rockits always clinging onto a 3 to 7 point margin. With the game always within the reach of the Warriors, the Rockits decided that patience would pay off in the long run. Each time down the court, the Rockits spread out the defense before attacking the basket. The plan worked as the Rockits connected on numerous easy lay ups and short jumpers. In the end, the Rockits inside tandem of Victor Fung, Jeff Chin, Ed Chan and Ken Lee proved too much for the fatigued Warriors. These four gave their opponents a clinic on the art of the high post, low post game. It was a thing of beauty as they consistently connected on easy baskets.
With another long tournament day coming to a close, we would like to thank all those players who helped with the refereeing and scorekeeping. A special welcome to the New York Cabots organization, who were represented by three teams at this tournament. It marked their debut in the New York/New Jersey Asian basketball circuit. Good Luck in the future to coach David Rha and the Cabots!!
- Shine at Rutgers University Tournament
Written by Denny Lee 10/17/98
Philly Suns coach Harry Leung (w. eyeglasses) posing with his victorious team
The 1998-99 East Coast Asian basketball season began with a bang as eleven teams traveled to Rutgers University on Saturday, October 17th to compete in the 1st Rutgers KSA (Korean Students Association) Asian basketball tournament. Teams representing their University and basketball organizations included the: Philadelphia Suns, NY Rockits, Washington CYC, Albany Tribe, U. Penn, Rutgers KSA, Rutgers CSO, Columbia University, and Penn State. In the end, the Philadelphia Suns overcame an eight-point deficit in the final minutes to defeat the NY Rockits by a score of 45-44.
Seeded #4 in the playoff round, the Suns dispatched of the host team Rutgers KSA (#5 seed) by a margin of 12 points before taking on the #1 seed, Albany Tribe in the semifinals. Tired and battered, the Suns miraculously upset the #1 seeded Albany Tribe 50-47. The Tribe had advanced into the playoff round by thrashing their opponents in the round robin preliminaries by an average margin of 15 points per game. But trouble loomed on the horizon, as the Tribe had difficulty during their first round game against the #8 seeded Rutgers CSO, winning by only one point. Believing that the tribe could be beat, the Suns jumped out to a commanding ten-point lead which they held throughout the game until the final two minutes of the game. The Tribe clawed their way back into the game under the hot shooting of Jon Park who nailed a couple of treys to pull them within three with 55 seconds left. But it was too little too late as free throws by Brian Chu and San Mac sealed the victory.
The NY Rockits journey to the Championship took a different path. Seeded #2 in the playoff round, the Rockits were thoroughly surprised by the outstanding play of the #7 seeded U. Penn team in the quarterfinals. The first half saw the U. Penn team hit a remarkable six three pointers on their way to a six point halftime lead. In the second half, a different story started to unfold as the taller and bigger Rockits began to dominate offensively on the inside. With three minutes remaining in the game, the Rockits had five-point lead but were well aware of the three point antics of the U. Penn team. For the remainder of the game, the Rockits played a suffocating man to man defense and didn't allow the U. Penn team any good looks from beyond the 3-point arc and held on to win by nine points. For the record, the U. Penn team hit an astonishing eight treys in the game and played brilliantly against a more experienced Rockits team. After a fifteen-minute rest period, the Rockits met the up and coming NY Cruisers in the other semifinal. The game began with the Rockits jumping out to a quick ten-point lead on their way to a 20-point victory margin. The victory didn't tell the whole story as both teams were competing in their fifth game of day. Fatigue definitely took its toll on the Cruisers as they decided not to play the consolation game and awarded the Albany Tribe with the 3rd place trophy.
The stage was finally set for the championship game between the Philadelphia Suns and the NY Rockits. These two teams had met earlier in the day (preliminaries) with the Rockits defeating the Suns by 15 in a turnover laden game. But in a championship game, it's a one game elimination for all the marbles. The early stages of the game was set as the Rockits jumped out to an early 13-2 lead just minutes into the game led by the play of Tom Yih (2 treys). In order to stop the momentum, the Suns called for a timeout. Upon their return to the court, you could see that the Suns weren't going to just lay down and die. They put together a run of their own to closed the gap, 18-16. But just as fast as you can say wassup, Tom sank two more treys and the Rockits led at the half 28-20. Emotionally, the faces on the players from both teams looked tired and spent. But we knew that coach Harry Leong wouldn't let his team give up. Immediately, the Suns scored eight unanswered points to tie the game, 28-28. The next ten minutes saw both teams struggle on the offensive and defensive ends with neither gaining an advantage. With three minutes remaining, the Rockits led 40-34 and looked as if they were on their way claiming their first championship of the 98-99 season. Once again, the Suns clawed their way back into the game as the Rockits couldn't capitalize on three straight offensive possessions (traveling violation @ 2:20, missed layup @ 1:15, and finally missed 1 and 1 with 12 seconds remaining). With the score 44-43 and 12 seconds remaining, the Rockits were up one with a chance increase their lead with Jimmy Li at the free throw line shooting a one and one. A clutch foul shooter as anyone, luck just wasn't on the side of Jimmy and the Rockits as he missed the shot. The Suns grabbed the rebound and immediately passed the ball to their speedy point guard San Mac on the left side of the half court line. San penetrated and drove to the basket looking for a layup. At the last moment, Victor Fung of the Rockits blocked his path to the basket to take the charge. As the whistle blew, both teams were looking for the call - Suns wanting a blocking call and the Rockits wanting a offensive charge call. The referee called blocking much to the dismay of the Rockits. San and the Suns were going to shoot two free throws with 4 seconds remaining. This wasn't the case as San was too shaken up from the previous play to attempt the free throws. Not knowing what to do, the Rockits requested that their player/coach Harry Leong shoot the free throws. After not playing in any of the previous four games until the championship, Harry calmly stepped to the line and swished in both attempts to give the Suns the lead and the game 45-44. Congratulations to Harry and the Suns as they captured the first championship of the 98-99 season.
Take Two in 1st Summer Nights League
Written by Denny Lee 9/12/98
NIGHT SEVEN - CHAMPIONSHIP NIGHT - Wednesday, September 2, 1998
Game 1 Men's AA Championship:
Chinatown Life ROCKITS 45, NY Fishmen 38 (ot).....Refs: Wai Tsang, Dexter Adams; Rockits: C.B. Liu 14, Ming Mui 11; Fishmen: Clarence Lui 14, Wilson Cheung 9
Men's AA Championship Game Highlights:
The Men's AA Championship between the Fishmen and Chinatown Life Rockits was a fitting opening game for the Men's AAA championship game that would follow later on in the night. It squared off the same two teams which had met only one week earlier with the veteran laden Fishmen team defeating the high school age Chinatown Life Rockits by a score of 49-39. The young Rockits team definitely had revenge on their minds as they opened up the game with a 10-2 brought on by the full court trapping defense they were employing. The hustling play of Ming Mui (11 pts, 4 steals) and shooting of C.B. Liu (3 treys) helped propel the Rockits to a 21-18 halftime lead. In the second half, the Fishmen came out shooting as Clarence Lui stroked a trey followed by an outside jumper. Supersub Wilson Cheung also injected some life into his team as he hustled for six quick points. With 1:30 seconds remaining, both teams were tied 36-36. The score remained that way as both teams couldn't capitalize on the offensive end. The younger Rockits had played well thus far as they were just happy to be going into overtime. Overtime is where you separate the men from the boys. This time it was the boy's who played like men as the Rockits outscored the Fishmen 9-2 in overtime. Ming Mui 9 (four free throws in ot) and C.B. Liu each hit some pretty clutch free throws to put the game out of reach. The Chinatown Life Rockits captured the first of the night's championships.
FINAL STANDINGS - MEN'S AA DIVISION
1st Place CHINATOWN LIFE ROCKITS
2ndt Place NY FISHMEN
3rd Place 69ers
4th Place GGR
5th Place UNITED EAST
Game 2 Men's AAA Championship:
NY ROCKITS 61, LYONS 52; Rockits: Ed Chan 17, Ed Lau 13, Victor Fung 10; Lyons: Dokin Tom 10, Wilson Lew 7
Men's AAA Championship Game Highlights:
Championship night for the first summer nights basketball league started out with a bang with the overtime victory by the Chinatown Life Rockits. The gym was packed as the Men's AAA championship was going to be even more electrifying as the Lyons led by human highlight film-Patrick Pilar and his band of young upstarts were looking to shock the older more experienced NY Rockits team led by Big Ed Chan. What promised to be an electrifying game turned out to be nothing more than your typical I'll let you score if you let me score kind of game. Both Patrick Pilar and Joel Capilli couldn't attend the game because of prior commitments to their Filipino basketball club. It was definitely a shame as the fans were all eager to see this exciting matchup. The game itself had to be played and play they did. Both teams showed a lack of desire on defense as loose balls and sloppy ball handling was evident. The Rockits jumped out to a commanding 12-point lead in which they held throughout the game. They were led by the play of Big Ed Chan (17 pts) and Victor Fung (10 pts)as they dwarfed over their much smaller opponents. But the Lyons did make several attempts to close the gap but they never got closer than six points. Leading the way for the Lyons were Dokin Tom (10 pts) and Wilson Lew (7 pts). At the end, the Rockits came up on top 61-52 capturing the Men's AAA championship in the first annual summer nights basketball league.
FINAL STANDINGS - MEN'S AAA DIVISION
1st Place NEW YORK ROCKITS AIA
2ndt Place LYONS
3rd Place NY CRUISERS
4th Place NY TITANS
5th Place ROCKITS U.
6th Place R&J
THREE-PEAT in Church League Championship
Written by Denny Lee 8/18/98
CCCNJ and QUEENS CHRISTIAN ALLIANCE CHURCH ADVANCE TO CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL:
CHRISTIAN ALLIANCE CHURCH SEMIFINAL - Game 1 - August 17, 1998 at the Chinatown YMCA -- CCCNJ 37, GRACE FAITH 32; CCCNJ: Denny Lee 9, William Dong 6, Victor Tang 6; Grace Faith: Warren Chin 13, Jordan Eng 5
Playing in their third straight final four, CCCNJ (Chinese Christian Church of New Jersey) advance to the Championship game by narrowly defeating Grace Faith Church by a score of 37-32. As the league favorite to three-peat, CCCNJ might have went into this semifinal matchup against Grace Faith a little too confident. Grace Faith Church played a magnificent game throughout only to succumb to the veteran abilities of CCCNJ.
From the outset, you could see that the team from Grace Faith Church were pumped and ready to take it to the two time champions. Led by Warren Chin (13 pts), Grace Faith jumped out to an early 11-4 as their stifling defense surprised CCCNJ. But like any championship caliber team, CCCNJ settled down and came storming back thanks to two treys courtesy of co-captain William Dong. By halftime, CCCNJ had retaken the lead and led by two 19-17. You could tell that both teams were struggling on the offensive end caused mainly by the intensity of the defensive pressure. Everyone in the packed gym knew that the second half would be much of the same. When the second half begun, CCCNJ began to turn up the pressure on defense. They knew they had to stop Warren from getting any good looks at the basket. Thanks to defensive pressure of guard Anthony Chung and the helping man to man defense, the team from Grace Faith connected on only two field goals in the entire second half. But the game was much closer than that as the lead never got to more than six points. With 7:40 remaining, CCCNJ led 28-25. No matter what CCCNJ did, they couldn't pull away from the stubborn Grace Faith team. The remainder of the game saw both teams exchanging points on their offensive end. Scoring for CCCNJ was Denny Lee (9 pts) with a two pointer and a trey in addition to the clutch free throws by John Ho and Ed Chan. Grace Faith scored their points at the free throw line courtesy of Warren Chin, Jason Eng, and Jordan Eng. Both teams played their hearts out with CCCNJ winning this battle.
CHRISTIAN ALLIANCE CHURCH SEMIFINAL - Game 2 - August 17, 1998 at the Chinatown YMCA; QCAC 56, OCM 43; QCAC: Serge Causito 15, Ping Villegas 11, Andrew Ling 11; OCM: Dokin Tom 12, Sam Kong 12
The second semifinal of the night saw former three time champions, QCAC (Queens Christian Alliance Church) defeat a young up and coming team from OCM (Overseas Chinese Mission), 56-43. QCAC had played brilliantly thus far as evidenced by their 15 point per game average margin of victory. The addition of 3-point shooting specialist Serge Causito and Ping Villegas added a new dimension to their already strong team. As for OCM, they had struggled somewhat throughout the league but always managed to eke out a victory. You could tell that they were missing the point guard leadership abilities of teammate Tony Wong was on a church mission in Macau, Hong Kong.
Right from the get-go, QCAC established
their running game and jumped out to a quick 15-5 lead led by
the play of Neequaye Williams (4 pts, 3 blocks) and Serge Causito
(15 pts, 3 treys). OCM tried desperately to trim the deficit but
were unsuccessful as leading scorer, Dokin Tom was held scoreless
in the first half. It was fortunate that Sam Kong (center - 12
pts) scored nine points to keep his team within striking distance.
At halftime, QCAC held a convincing 33-16 lead. It was time for
the OCM players to show that they belonged in this game. Dokin
Tom had to step up and this he did as he sank four treys in the
second half. But to no avail, they couldn't narrow the lead as
QCAC continued to play strongly on both ends of the court. The
play of Andrew Ling (11 pts) and Ping J. (11 pts) helped to defeat
the team from OCM.
3-TIME CHAMPIONS: CCCNJ
CHINESE CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF NEW JERSEY
CHRISTIAN ALLIANCE CHURCH LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP - August 18, 1998 at the Chinatown YMCA; CCCNJ 49, QCAC 44; CCCNJ: Denny Lee 13, Victor Tang 9, Jack Ma 8; QCAC: Serge Causito 15, Ping J. 13, Wai Hung Ma 11
The Chicago Bulls did it first but now CCCNJ (Chinese Christian Church of New Jersey) can stake its claim to fame as a three-peat champion as they captured their third straight Church League Championship by defeating the team from QCAC (Queens Christian Alliance Church) by a score of 49-44. It was game to remember as the defending two time champions, CCCNJ had to battle back from a seven point halftime deficit to secure their place in church league basketball history.
It was evident from the start that the crowd favorite was none other than QCAC. The team was younger and faster and they were ready to dethrone the team from CCCNJ. CCCNJ had struggled in the previous night's semifinal matchup against Grace Faith Church and some were thinking that maybe their age (average age of team was over thirty) was catching up to them. After winning the tip, QCAC opened up the game by scoring the first eight points. Making matters worse was the stifling 2-3 matchup zone that they were playing. This definitely rattled the CCCNJ team on offense as they had to extend much further than they wanted too. In addition, QCAC's Serge Causito went on a tear and recorded 12 points (5-7 fg, 2 treys) in the first half. At halftime, QCAC had a 27-21 lead. Once again, CCCNJ had played a very poor first half and were fortunate to be only down by six points. CCCNJ knew they had to speed up the game in the second half and this was accomplished by applying constant pressure on the ballhandlers of QCAC. The trio of Anthony Chung, William Dong and John Ho stepped up big time on the defensive end by forcing four consecutive turnovers from the smaller QCAC players. John also contributed on the offensive end by nailing a trey and a two point fg to lead the comeback. Even Jack Ma, the youngest player on the team contributed by scoring on two consecutive offensive possessions by following up misses by his teammates. The quicker lineup that CCCNJ utilized had worked as they stormed back to take a 33-32 lead with eight minutes left in regulation. In the next three minutes, both teams failed to score before Denny Lee (13 pts, 2-2 trey) nailed a trey to give CCCNJ a 36-32 lead. It was a lead that they never relinquished. QCAC fought on bravely as they rushed the ball up court looking to score quickly in hopes of saving time on the clock. But with each field goal made by QCAC, CCCNJ followed by connecting at the free throw line. Victor Tang, John Ho, and Mike Chin each sank important free throws in the final minutes as CCCNJ survived to win their third straight Church League Championship.
CONSOLATION GAME RESULTS: GRACE FAITH 56, OCM 40; Grace Faith: Jason Eng 18, Jordan Eng 10, Warren Chin 7; Paul Lam 12, Garrick Young 10, Dokin Tom 7
EDITOR'S COMMENTS: Congratulations to all the teams that participated in the Christian Alliance Church Summer Basketball League. Once again, it was wonderful having the opportunity to play basketball and share the word of God. A special thanks must also be given to Jack Lau and his staff of volunteers for all the effort and work they put into making this summer league a success.
THANK YOU, GOD BLESS YOU AND
SEE YOU ALL NEXT YEAR!!!
Second Annual New York Asian Basketball
Classic A Success
The 2nd Annual New York Asian Basketball Classic proved once again that the top Chinese-Asian basketball players compete in only the best tournaments. Held on April 25-26 at the College of Staten Island, this two-day event showcased the talents of many of today's young rising stars as well as the resourcefulness of the wily veterans. All told, the weekend festvities saw the crowning of four new champions.
On Saturday, the Men's Open Classic saw the NY TITANS stun the defending champion-NY Rockits in the Championship game by a score of 52-44. Tournament MVP, Gary Tsang, was outstanding in the championship game as he tallied a game-high 26 points to lead all scorers. Leading throughout the entire game, the NY TITANS employed a stingy defense and a patient offensive passing attack to avenge an earlier loss to the Rockits in the preliminary round. Guard Tony Pau also played exceptionally well in solving the full court press of the Rockits. Coach Leo Lee of the Titans was ecstatic about the victory but was still showing concerns about the team's readiness for the Chinese National Tournament in Philadelphia in May.
The Men's Open Classic wasn't the only championship game of the day as the YOUNG LIONS captured the first ever University Championships (22-under) in a hotly contested game against the Young Life Rockits. The YOUNG LIONS were led by the stellar play of Patrick Pilar (Hunter College varsity recruit-upcoming season) and Champ Albano. Both players are also members of the highly successful S.I.P.A.G. (Staten Island Philipino American Group) basketball team.
Back to the game, the lead exchanged hands over 15 times as both teams struggled to take control of the game. C.B. Liu of the Young Life Rockits kept his team close by connecting on four first half three-pointers. At halftime, the Young Lions led by five points 25-20. The second half started out with a bang as the Rockits went on a 14-5 run to take a four-point lead with David Yun (guard) and Kevin Chin (center) playing with a renewed purpose. The lead was short lived though as Patrick and Champ rallied their team by dominating on both ends of the court. With four minutes remaining, the Lions once again held a five-point lead. But this time, the young Rockits team couldn't mount a comeback as they committed some costly turnovers at the most inopportune time. When it was all said and done the YOUNG LIONS came away with there first championship.
Fishmen Put Their Hooks on Big
For the first time, the Second Annual New York Asian Basketball Classic introduced a division for players 35-over. It was exciting to see these wily veterans play the game the way it was supposed to be played - smooth passing, picking and rolling, setting screens and making the open shots.
No other team exemplified this brand of basketball better than the Fishmen. Coached by Paul Gong, the team consists primarily of players 40-over that still love to play the game of basketball. Chinese basketball stars of the past on this team include Danny Chong, Paul Wong, Ramon Wong, Ken (Monkey) Chan, and Lenny (Chin) Dong. The remaining players on the roster are no slouches either as they can all still PLAY THE GAME.
After recording their first two victories of the day by an average winning margin of 25 points, it was assumed that they would easily handle whoever their opponent would be in the championship game. They were mistaken as Big Wong, the other finalist wasn't going to be embarrassed. Manager/player Allan Wong convinced his team that they could win if they concentrated their efforts on playing tenacious defense. Big Wong executed this game plan perfectly and at halftime the score read Fishmen ahead 14-8. The second half mirrored the first half as both teams continued to struggle offensively. With 1 minute remaining, Big Wong had the ball and was down by only three points. An upset seemed possible as the game was coming to a close. But all was lost as Big Wong committed a costly turnover and had to foul immediately in order to stop the clock. The pressure was on the Fishmen to make their free throws and that they did. The final score had the Fishmen victorious, by a score of 32-27.
The Second Annual New York Asian Basketball Classic came to a close with the crowning of three new champions. We look forward to seeing these teams vie for the championship next year.
Eighth Annual 1998 World Journal Basketball Tournament -- Fishmen
Wins Fifth Straight Title
The SING TAO-EAST BOAT Restaurant FISHMEN captured their fifth straight championship in the Annual World Journal Tournament held at Queens College in Flushing, New York by defeating the team of Big Wong 55-35. Playing in the 35-over division, the FISHMEN team coached by Paul Gong once again dominated this tournament by recording double-digit victories in each of their games from the preliminaries to the championship. The talent-laden roster was led by the outstanding play of Jimly Chong, Ken (Monkey) Chan, and Lenny (Chin) Dong. What catapulted them to the championship weren't their individual achievements but their team chemistry. It seemed as though the team enjoyed playing the game of basketball together. Other players like Ramon Wong (3-point specialist), John Leung (defensive specialist), Wing Lau (big man), and the remaining team members also contributed to the success of the team. Only time will tell if the FISHMEN will slow down. Watch for them at the 4th Annual Sing Tao/MetLife 3-on-3 in August.
In the Men's Open Division, the WARLORDS were successful in their quest to repeat as champions. In a hotly contested championship game, the WARLORDS outlasted the Barracudas by a final score of 45-36. Frank Chan and Joe Yen continued their outstanding play by scoring in double digits in every game in the tournament. This tournament victory was the second of the year for this much traveled team as they had also captured the championship in the SUNY-Albany Asian Invitational Basketball Tournament two weeks earlier.