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THE Brunei national team are hoping to bounce back from their opening game loss when they face off against Hong Kong today in Group B of the Third China-Asean Men's Basketball Invitational tournament at Pingguo County, Guangxi, China.

The national cagers suffered a 100-58 setback against hosts Guangxi in their opener on Tuesday night but Kevin Reece, the national basketball coach, is positive that the team are capable of capping a win against the Hong Kong side.

'Everyone on the China team was taller than us. Stats-wise we only had 10 turnovers and shot 80 per cent from the free throw line but we were outrebounded 51-32,' said Reece, during an interview with The Brunei Times, yesterday.

'I believe that we played good defence on them (Guangxi) but they were just too tall. It was a great experience for our players though,' added the LA Lakers fan.

'Our weakness has always been height and it's going to be another challenge for us. We'll need to get more transition points against Hong Kong,' continued the American.

Hong Kong's tallest player stands at 6ft 9in while the Sultanate's tallest cager is Zainul Ashyraf Hj Hussin, who is nursing a sprained ankle in the second quarter against Guangxi but has been deemed fit for the upcoming encounter, at 6ft 6in.

'We'll have to play good defence once again and I believe that we can compete against them and get our first win,' said Reece.

'The matchup probably won't be as tough as Guangxi so we'll have to go out there as usual to get stuffs done,' added the Los Angeles native.

In addition, Reece felt that the national cagers were made to feel right at home for the competition.

'I think that our team is popular with the public. There are those who are behind our team and supporting us. Brunei basketball is being represented well here,' said Reece.

The national team were also the only team that were invited to a friendly volleyball match with the township community of Matou, Pingguo County as part of extending friendship between both parties.

Four Filipinos from the Sultanate were suppose to travel with the team to compete but only two Don Mordeno and Marjomar Aying got on the plane to China.

The duo of Elvin Requintin and Geve Leones pulled out at the last minute due to personal reasons.

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