Saturday, July 05, 2008

Scenes - Sarikei Basketball

Long before black and white TV came to Sarikei in mid 1970s, Sarikei had already started its own basketball matches without the need to watch the early American NBA stars with their ultra short pants and super long legs.


Sarikei Basketball Friendly Match, 1950
Sarikei's Flying Saucer (light) and Malaya's Nanyang Papers (dark)
Note the clay court. Find the man carrying an old camera.
Find the Nipah palms. Is that the old Methodist Church behind?
Source: Ease Chen


Back row: L4 陈潮富; L5黄天锡 also represented China in 1948 Olympic in London

L6 Tiong Hung Ming张鸿明; L7 侯深湖( Now in his 90s; is the owner of Good Chance DIY Popiah Eating House of Singapore); L8 陈永谋 ; L9 陈敬信(ex principal of Kwang Chien School)

Front row: L2 梁雄標; L3 王受美; L4陈孝发; L5黄训文;L6亚九


In those days, the basketball court was made of clay and the above picture was likely taken at Methodist School's court on the current location of Methodist Church, next to the previous wooden church. This was one the earliest basketball courts in Sarikei, if not the earliest.

The earliest and most formidable basketball team was Flying Saucer(飞碟) and one of the players was Cou Fu and he's related to the Chen family. He worked for Kong Hup Heng 廣合興 at No. 5 Wharf Road. Cou Fu married the daughter of Kim Seng Ang of No. 3 Wharf Road. The center forward for Flying Saucer (飞碟) was the tall Tiong Hon Ming. The Sarikei basketball association even hired a coach who was a legendary ex-player from the professional team, Nanyang Shang Pao newspapers 南洋商報, of Malaya. (Source: Reader Lidasar)

Updated:

Tiong Hung Ming张鸿明 was a good guard but not a good scorer.The other guard was Wong Siew Mee王受美 (the eldest son of Wong Ngiong Hua). Another guard, Lim Ah Tu 林亚都, was a half court sharp shooter.

The pillars of the team were Chen Cou Fu 陈潮富 and Ting Ing Mou 陈永谋, the two most feared by Sibu and Kuching teams.They could create perfect layup for each to score .They nicknamed Cou Fu满场飞. He married the third of the 6 daughters of Kim Seng Ann.金成安

In the early 50s, a marine pilot, Captain Lo 罗寄生, was often asked to be the referee of. important matches. He was a huge man weighing not less than 110 kg. He could hardly run on the court to follow the ball but he was strict refree. He often ate 3 plates of kam pua or 70 dumplings 饺子at one go. He was from 天津 Tianjin and was a graduate of 上海交通大学. He captained a ship from Tianjin to Tanjung Manis. From mid 1950s, Chua Kim Hin (of No. 3 Wharf Road) and Wong Yuk Feng (of No. 1 Wharf Road) took over as regular refrees. It was no easy job because gangsters gambled on the matches!


1955: Chong Siew Fai (Front row, 1st from right) playing for Sarikei
First Kwang Lee Bank Cup Inter-district Basketball Competition
Lighter singlet = Sarikei. Darker singlet = Sibu.
Submitted by: Ikan Sembilang
Source:
小洋

Front row: L1 陈潮富; L3 王受美; L5 陈永谋; L7 詹贤运; L8 张小飞

Back row: L2黄希如; L6黄毓团; L7 刘恭亨; L9 张鸿明; L10 张小江; L12王广文




Updated:

In the 1950's, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce under the leadership of Chen Ko Ming made use of a piece of land beside their building to build a proper basketball court. The original court was open air without roofing and the seats were only built on one side (the side with the back facing the padang). In the early 1960s, Mr. Leong 梁 明 德 started a donation drive to reconstruct a stadium with roofing. With the support of the public, the stadium was constructed in 1962-1963 in time for the Kwang Lee Bank Inter-District cup.

The basketball stadium was a massive project by Sarikei's standard, The metal frame for holding the stadium roof was ordered and shipped from Australia. The wooden seats were built with concrete support on all four sides. The Sarikei's women team was the pride of the town for winning the 1st Kwang Lee Cup. Teams from Singapore like the 綠鷹 (Green Eagles) were invited to play the local teams in the new stadium.

The 2nd Kwang Lee Bank Cup was played in Kuching and the whole town went wild when our women's team returned as champion. The local folks welcomed the girls with lion dance, fire crackers, a garland of fresh flowers over each lady and victory parade around the town.

Mr.Leong 梁 明 德 from Singapore worked as the manager for Kwang Lee Bank. He was a prominent figure in the early days holding such position as the vice chairman of the Cantonese Association from 1955 - 1966. Salute to these two prominent figures for building the old basketball court beside Chinese Chamber of Commerce: Kapitan Chen Ko Ming and Mr.Leong.
(source: Reader 45 rpm gramophone)


Sarikei Inter-Borneo Basketball Gold Cup, 1966
5th Men's Cup sponsored by Wee Kheng Chiang
3rd Women's Cup sponsored by Ling Chu Ming
Source: Ease Chen



Sarikei Inter-Borneo Basketball Gold Cup, 1966
Source: Ease Chen


By 1966, Sarikei stadium was already hosting big tournaments like the Inter Borneo Gold Cup between Sarawak, Sabah and Brunei. It is interesting that the Borneo Cup was still held then because Sarawak and Sabah joined the Federation of Malaysia on 16 Sept 1963.


Sarikei Inter-District Basketball Gold Cup, 1967
3rd Men's Cup sponsored by Hii Ka Tung
5th Women's Cup sponsored by Hock Hua Bank
Source: Ease Chen



Since Sarawak Divisions were not formed in the 1960s, the competition was between districts (see yellow colour areas in map). Sarikei's 6th Division was formed in 1973. Also note that the Women's Cup was in its 5th year while the Men's Cup was in its 3rd year. Why?



Sarikei Inter-District Basketball Gold Cup, 1967
Committee Members. Photo taken in Dec 1966
Chen Ko Ming (Front row, Middle)
Source: Ease Chen



Sarikei Inter-District Basketball Gold Cup, 1967
Committee Members. Photo taken in Dec 1966
Source: Ease Chen


Sarikei Basketball Committee 1967
Find Father Rottinghuis (2nd row, 1st from right)
Source: Ease Chen


Sarikei Basketball Committee 1967
Source: Ease Chen


Sarikei Basketball Committee 1967
Source: Ease Chen


Sarikei Basketball Committee 1967
Find ex-Anthonian Chinese teacher, Wang Yun. (1st row, 3rd from left)
Source: Ease Chen



Sarikei Basketball Stadium 1967; facing padang
Next to Chinese Chamber of Commerce (left)
Find the ticket booth in front of the stadium
Source: Ease Chen


This is the best picture left of the old basketball stadium which was demolished in 2003 (2002?) to make way for shops. Can anyone confirm that the land lease of the area was going to expire and that's why the owners had to quickly apply to build shops on the land?


Sarikei Basketball Men's Team 1967
Source: Ease Chen


Basketball games moved to the 2 open courts next to the new sports stadium near Nyelong Park. In 2006, the public basketball stadium opened in Jalan Jambu, off Jalan Rentap, across the Sarikei River.


Sarikei Basketball Women's Team 1967
Women's captain: 1st row, 1st from right
Source: Ease Chen


The legendary queen of Sarikei basketball is Chieng Suk Ung (詹淑文). She's married to the eldest son Wong Yik Siew 黃毓秀 of No. 1 Wharf Road. She captained the Sarikei's women's team that became the state champion in the 1960s. She was the daughter of a teacher from Sarikei High School and learned her skills on the school's basketball court. She and her sister formed the most talented basketball family of old Sarikei. (Source: Reader Lidasar and updated by Ben Wong)


Sarikei Basketball 1968
Wharf Workers Union team;
Champions of Sarikei Basketball Open Tournament

Source: STLau


Sarikei Basketball 1968
Wharf Workers Union team
Champions of Sarikei Basketball Open Tournament
Source: Wharf Workers Union (formerly above No. 1 Bank Road)



Updated:
The Wharf Workers Union team were champions of Sarikei Basketball Open for several years (source: STLau). In the photo (1st left, front row), was the former caretaker and canteen owner of Kwang Chien school (popularly known as Ke Poh). The tall centre (back row) is nicknamed Panjang (Longman) if you recall.


Sarikei Basketball Stadium 1975
Find the dashboard (scoreboard) next to Sarikei District Office.
Another dashboard was on the side next to Chinese Chamber of Commerce.


The stadium was popular for basketball in the 1970's where epic battles between men's teams like 海峽 (Sea Straits) and 東方 (East Side) were eagerly awaited in the annual double knockout competition. In the 1970-1980's, Sarikei hosted the Sarawak divisional competitions like basketball, volleyball and tabletennis which were rotated around the seven divisions then.

The most exciting match we hosted had to be the ladies' basketball finals in the late 1970s where Sarikei, the underdogs, nearly toppled Kuching who had leng teoh (match fright). We lost by 5 points. Our Sarikei ladies were coached by Mr Sim Teck Hong (ex-Sekolah Tinggi teacher). On paper, Sarikei ladies were not as technically skilled as the Kuching gals who could even do "jump shots" like guys but our home crowd frenzy drove them on. The home crowd yelled and the roof resonated. They clapped and banged the benches. The stadium literally shook. Both teams cried after the stressful match.


Sarikei Basketball 1979
St Anthony's School Form 3 team
Find the famous "Longman" (Middle, Back row)
Source: STLau



Sarikei has proudly contributed several state and country level players for basketball and volleyball. This is mainly due to good facilities in the schools and the town and youth programs like inter school and youth competitions.

Our most famous basketball player is the sharp shooter, Ah Kuen or "Longman" of St Anthony's School, who represented Malaysia several times. I think he's working in Kuching now.

Well, this is the long story of Sarikei basketball.

12 comments:

Daniel Yiek said...

This is a tough post to write. Had to search for pics and old comments from readers to build the story.

Gone with the wind are the glory days of the old basketball stadium...

Where is our most famous basketball export, Ah Quen or "Longman" now?

NELSON said...

my friends and I used to play bball there after school at around 2pm-3pm until 5pm before the 'tua lang' - adults came. we gonna miss that old nostalgic stadium!

stlau said...

Well done for such an extensive coverage of Sarikei most popular sports (at least during my time). I think the top 3 sports had to be basketball, volleyball and football (soccer).

45rpm gramophone said...

Observation:
1st Photo: Taken at the earliest clay basketball court Methodist Church location. Notice not all players wearing shoe? Definitely taken after the war and not taken in 1930s.

Sponsors:
黃慶 昌 Wee Kheng Chiang : UOB United Oversea Bank founder, his son Wee Cho Yaw is one of the richest man in Singapore. The family is from Kuching and 黃慶 昌 was a tall gentleman always seen with bodyguards and seen in Sarikei in the early days.

林 子 明 Ling Chu Ming of Sibu, Timber tycoon and Hock Hua Bank, father of Tan Sri Datuk Amar Ling Beng Siew.

許家棟 Hii Ka Tung : Timber Tycoon of Sibu

Sarikian:
劉明孝 : Earliest Coolie Head of Foochow group.

劉 天 源 : Early Heng Hua Bicycle shop boss.

黃 景 善 : Founder of Borneo Bus Private Limited.

陳 敬 信 : Early Headmaster of Kwang Chien 廣 建.

王 寶 愛 : Wife of 陳 敬 信 and a career teacher.

陳 國 芬 : Daugther of 陳 敬 信 & 王 寶 愛, teacher of St.Anthony & Husband from Kuching teaching in Methodist Primary.

王受端 : Headmaster of Kwang Chien 廣 建 & nephew of Foochow Kapitan Wong Yong Hua.

林長彬 : Involved in the construction of Chinese Chamber of Commerce building and also a good Chinese calligraphy so some of the shop sign board was written by him. House was direct opposite to Kwang Chien 廣 建.

劉邦訓 : Headmaster of Methodist Primary.

徐 與 禮 : Boss of 新 星. Career started as a coffee boy of No. 9 Repok Rd Kiew Lok Kopitiam 僑 樂 園 茶室.

蔡 金 與 : 2nd Generation Mr.Chua the son of No 3 Wharf Rd 金 成 安 Kim Seng Ang and brother of early photo shop at Wharf Rd.

錢 程 晃 : 同 毕 boss at Central Road, now No 1 Repok Rd.

黃 永 端 : Both husband and wife are early worker of 通 益 Tong Aik No 1 Wharf Rd in-charge of See Hua newspaper agency, started 永 端 bookstore and gave birth to Anthonian Bookstore.

廖 信 發 & 廖 金 發 & 廖 松 發 : Hakka brothers 3rd generation of No 1 Repok Rd Kong Tai Chiong 忠 泰 昌

林 依 湛 : Sarikei's High teacher.

林 萬 雲 : Sarikei's High teacher & subsequently St. Anthony teacher.

林 淑 芳 : Return to China.

黄 美 香 Might not be the wife of Wong Yik Siew because her family name is 詹

My uncle was in one of the photo, almost couldn't recognize him.

This is one of the best post did by Daniel Yiek, Ease Chen photos collection is super.

Daniel Yiek said...

The 1st pic was given by Ease Chen as an undated picture. I guessed that it was mid 1930s because her uncle, Chen Tong Seng would be the right age to play competitive basketball then (if he's in the picture). I think the puzzle can be solved if we know when was the team Flying Saucer(飞碟)popular.

Oh gosh! I went thru the names that "45rpm Gramaphone" wrote and found the young Hing Leh 徐與禮(Boss of Sing Sing 新星) in the pic of Sarikei's Women's team (1st row, 1st from Left). Everyone in Sarikei knows him, now a top businessman in Sarikei.

As for the 黄美香, the women's captain..she may have taken the surname of her husband Wong Yik Siew. There's another lady in the pic 詹美蓮 which could be her sister that Lidasar mentioned.

Basketball was my fav sport and I represented St Anthony's in Form 5 but was "feeding mosquitoes" (ie warming the bench). We lost to Sekolah Tinggi at the inter school competition at Binatang.

45rpm gramophone said...

This is an important entry and hence prompted me to research (Kay Poh) a little more, Ease Chen's photos really helped to bring back old memories easier.

Flying Saucer(飞碟) the earliest and most formidable basketball team was started in the 1930s. The "Michael Jordan"”of good old days Flying Saucer got to be the one wearing jersey No 9 Chan Yong Mou shown in the first picture, he was the captain of the team. Together with Mr. Cou Fu and the sharp shooter Mr 王 they formed the most talented combination that traumatized every opponent. Cou Fu the son-in-law of No 3 Wharf Rd 金 成 安 could be the player wearing No 8 jersey and Mr 王 the sharp shooter was player wearing jersey No 5. Mr. Cou Fu works for the Chen 廣 合 興 and Mr 王 the sharp shooter was from the shop 華 隆 No 7 Repok Rd of Foochow Kapitan Wong Yong Hua. Chan Yong Mou was an early teacher of old St Anthony and because his family didn't came to Sarikei with him so he had to eat regularly at the restaurant of Chou Mei.

The Chen's brother was the early palyers of 飞 碟 as well, Mr Chen Ko Meng and his elder brother Tong Seng. May be Ease Chen can help to confirm if player wearing No 12 is her father Kapitan Chen Ko Ming in the 1st photo. There was one incident where Chen Tong Seng was involved in a match fight when the team played in Sibu.
Another early player was 陳 楚 海 shown 2nd photo of 1967 committee 1st row 1st from Left. 飞 碟 played form many years and numerous player joined the team subsequently including 劉 文 通 shown Men's team 1967 1st row 3rd from Left, he was the tall Hakka dentist at the last row of shop houses in Central Rd.

Anyone notice the Union Jack flying in the back ground of 1955 team photo? Not sure if they sang God Save the Queen before the match.

There was once an incident happened not long after the new basketball stadium beside Chinese Chamber of Commerce was built. A touring men's & women's team from Singapore was schedule to play our team. The men's team played but their women's team didn't even though tickets were sold out before hand. Their team returned to Singapore without resolving the matter and all the Sarikei folks were furious for weeks and prompted our Basketball Association taking up advertisement space in Nayang San Bou condemning the Singapore's team.

When you mention Volleyball the old hero of old Sarikei got to be Mr 林 武 聰 3rd photo of 1967 committee 1st row 2nd from Left.

Kanga said...

45rpm gramophone,
Union Jack? or was it the old Sarawak flag? Many familiar names indeed. Before the roof went up there were lights on posts all around the court and when it rained the games slowed down. In the early 60's when the basket ball season was over, volleyball would begin. It was then the 9-men stationary style of play. (I think the 6-men rotational style of play only came in after the 1964 Toyko Olympic).

This is a good post about Sarikei basketball. I too had the honor of running wild on this old basketball court for a few years.

Daniel Yiek said...

STLau has unearthed a clearer picture of the Wharf Workers Union team. I have updated the post with picture and paragraph. Click on the picture and you will see a famous Sarikei person!


Kanga
Do you recall when was the roof completed for the basketball court? Maybe the 1955 picture was just night lights without the roof.

Kanga said...

I don't think the roof was up in 1955. I vaguely recalled there was a political rally in the early 60's when most participants were soaked, and I also recalled that I was running inside under cover in about the same time. I wonder if the roof was installed in 1962? My memory fades. Can someone else help?? Played against some members of the 1968 Wharf Workers team. They displaced me easily. Played against a few of them again in 1970. It was more managable that time.

Ease said...

Player #12 in the 1st photo is not my father, Chen Ko Ming. That's Tiong Hung Ming. My uncle Chen Tong Seng is not in the picture.

45rpm gramophone said...

Even after the war playing basketball was still at the clay court right where the Methodist Church is now standing. In the 1950's The Chinese Chamber of Commerce under the leadership of Chan Ko Ming make use of a piece of land beside their building to contract a proper basketball court. The original court was open air without roofing and the sits was only built on one side, the side with the back facing the padang. In the early 1960s Mr.Leong 梁 明 德 started a donation drive to reconstruct a stadium with roofing and with the support of the public the stadium was construction in 1962/3 in time for the inauguration of the 1st Kwang Lee Bank Inter-District cup. The basketball stadium was a massive project by Sarikei's standard, The metal frame for holding the stadium roof was ordered & shipped from Australia and the wooden sitting was build with concrete support on all four sides. The Sarikei's women team was the pride of the town for winning the 1st Kwang Lee Cup. Teams from Singapore like the 六 鹰 (Six Eagle) was invited to play the local teams in the new stadium too.

The 2nd Kwang Lee Cup was played in Kuching and the whole town goes wild when the women team returned as champion and the local folks welcomed the girls with lion dance, fire cracker and a garland of fresh flowers over each girl. Sarikian came together in a giddy triumph surging out of shops and home in wild celebration when the girls make a victory parade round the town.

Mr.Leong 梁 明 德 from Singapore and work as the Manager for Kwang Lee Bank was a prominent figure in the early days holding such position as the vice chairman of the Cantonese Association from 1955 - 1966. So we must pay tributes to two prominent figures for building the old basketball court beside Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Kapitan Chan and Mr.Leong.

Not bad, not bad... now we have almost identified the whole original team of the Flying Saucer 飞 碟. No 9 Chan Yong Mou, No 8 Cou Fu, No 5 Mr.Wong 王 and No 12 Tiong Hung Ming.

ease said...

45rpm, which one is your uncle?

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