Ever since Hong Kong Eastern joined the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) three seasons ago, their local shooters have always been a vital part in the team’s offense.
Aside from Chan Siu Wing and Lee Ki, a less heralded sharpshooter reemerged for head coach Edu Torres late in the season: Lau Tsz Lai.
Lau hasn’t gotten much playing time until the team’s last regular season game against Wolf Warriors, where he made seven out of eight shots from the rainbow territory, and he has been unstoppable since then.
“Always being ready on the bench is my main goal,” shared the 28-year-old guard about his approach coming off the sidelines. Plain and simple, and it has been the mentality that helped his team gain momentum against San Miguel Alab Pilipinas in the first round of playoffs.
The Hong Kong national team mainstay made all three of his long bombs, included a dagger that iced the game in front of the passionate Filipino fans when they played their first playoff game this season on the road.
“We were down by 15 points at the moment, but the whole team and I did not give up,” shared Lau. “I really just want to treasure every opportunity set up from my teammate to knock down the 3’s.”
As Lau’s confidence rose, he continued to be an offensive threat around perimeter, nailing another four threes in game two.
Besides the ABL playoffs schedule, the Hong Kong locals will have to juggle another ongoing domestic tournament, the Silver Shield League, but Lau refuses to see this as an adversity.
“This happened in the last two seasons too, it shouldn’t be a problem to us now.” Again, the ‘No excuse, just produce’ mentality continued to drive him throughout his basketball career.
Now that Eastern will play against Singapore Slingers, one of the toughest defensive teams in the league, specific defensive schemes will surely be used to stop Lau’s hot hands. However, he did not seem to bother but view it as an edge for his teammates in challenging the rim more aggressively.
“Our imports like Marcus (Elliott) and OD (Bassett) will have more room to attack the basket. Just about helping my teammates and wait for the opportunity to come.”
Basketball is a team sport at the end, if Lau’s outside shooting can help get his team victories, he is more than willing to sacrifice his recent impressive stats.
“I hope we can keep up the momentum from the last series against Alab,” Lau concluded by showing how much confident him and his teammates have ahead of the semi-final series.
The ABL semifinals series between Hong Kong Eastern and the Slingers begin on the 12th of April in OCBC Arena, Singapore.
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