WAI Cheung Kwong, the Hong Kong coach, was straight to the point regarding his team’s second-round campaign in the 27th Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship.
The soft-spoken mentor was honest enough to admit he doesn’t see his team posing a threat to any Group A squads including Gilas Pilipinas, which it will face in the next round of the preliminaries starting Monday.
“I don’t think we can beat anybody in the second round,” Wai said after Hong Kong’s 64-87 loss to Qatar on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Despite a 0-2 record, the former British colony got a free path to the second round following the last-minute withdrawal of Lebanon.
The absence of Lebanon left Group B with only three teams in Qatar, Japan, and Hong Kong, giving all teams automatic slots to the next round.
Group B teams will join the top three teams from Group A to form Group E.
“I hope that if we play the strong teams we will try to be as close as possible,” said Wai.
Hong Kong, which has Filipino coaches Derrick and Dindo Pumaren serving as consultants, lost its first outing to Japan, 76-59, on Friday.
But Hong Kong vows to try its best to keep the game as close as possible against teams such as Chinese Taipei and the Philippines.
“I hope that when we play against strong team, we’ll try to be as close as possible,” Wai said.