• New side affiliated with Golden Bulls Hon Friends team which competes in Hong Kong's A1 Division
  • Hong Kong squad players Leung Shiu-wah and Ricky Yang part of new outfit

A basketball club based in Hong Kong has launched a new side to compete in mainland China's domestic set-up, and plans to play its home games in the city.

Hong Kong Golden Bulls, who are connected to local A1 Division team Golden Bulls Hon Friends, will join the second tier National Basketball League this season, with Southorn Stadium in Wan Chai as their home base.

Leung Shiu-wah and Ricky Yang, two Hong Kong squad players who moved to Golden Bulls Hon Friends last year, are among those who will form part of the new team, which will be lead by Liu Te, a former head coach of Chinese Basketball Association teams Tianjin Pioneers and Nanjing Monkey Kings.

Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team.

Currently training in Beijing, the Golden Bulls began try outs for players in April and a source told the Post the team planned to return to Hong Kong this month ahead of the start of the season in July.

Joining Leung and Yang on the roster will be a host of mainland Chinese players, plus Maltese professional Samuel Deguara, a centre, and Lin Bingsheng, who won the T1 League Finals in Taiwan with New Taipei CTBC DEA.

The 26-year-old Lin plays as a shooting guard and is renowned for his defensive ability, having been named to the T1 League All-Defensive First Team twice, and was named its best defensive player in 2022.

"He is strong and very aggressive on the defensive end," Sun Huanpo, a former Taiwanese professional turned television commentator, called Lin "strong and very aggressive".

"His judgment on the ball is accurate, he has good stamina and is a player fancied by all coaches because of his willingness to play defence," Sun said.

"His outside shooting is less stable though, and his playmaking needs to be strengthened, too but he is a potential guard worth cultivating."

When asked about the Golden Bulls' involvement in the NBL, Norman Chan Shui-tim, head of the Hong Kong Basketball Association, said the association was "all supportive" of the team's effort.

"This is a very good thing," he said. "It is a way to improve the standard of our players because of the higher standard leagues in mainland China.

"It is not just mainland China as we are always learning from around the region."

Chan also said the Golden Bulls would be considered a local team and would therefore come under their authority.

"The team is our responsibility and we monitor the administrative and financial aspects, we do not want the recurrence of [the Hong Kong] Power Dragons incident surely," he said.

The Power Dragons joined the CBA in 2002 as a Hong Kong team but dropped out of the league after just one season.

Found in 2004, the NBL is a mainland Chinese second-tier league which has up to 17 teams in a season. It had 10 teams last year, with 14 and 11 in each of the two previous seasons.

Two-time defending champions Guangxi Rhinos, Anhui Oriental Dragons and Shaanxi Wolves, each with three titles, are the most successful teams in the league. The trio have combined to win the last nine championships.

More Articles from SCMP

Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong tests positive for Covid-19 again

Japan’s chip export controls are a major concern for China’s self-sufficiency campaign, analysts say

Alibaba, lift Hong Kong stocks from six-month low on stimulus bets as China recovery loses steam, yuan weakens

Hong Kong police set to launch ‘HKSOS’ app to quickly pinpoint lost hikers during rescue missions

This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (, the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.

Copyright (c) 2023. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

2023-06-01T06:39:56Z dg43tfdfdgfd