Story by Erwin Wong/Red Sports. Photos by Les Tan/Red Sports
Ian Sng (Unity #7, black) finds the ball taken away from him by Joshua Ng (Bukit Panjang #8, left) while Low Jie En (Bukit Panjang #13) also lends a hand in defense. Unity proved too strong for Bukit Panjang, winning the game 81-43. (Photo 1 © Les Tan/Red Sports)
Clementi Sports Hall, Friday, February 25, 2011 — Defending B Division National and West Zone boys’ basketball champions Unity Secondary School continued their two-year long winning streak when they cruised past Bukit Panjang Government High School 81-43 in the second round of the West Zone Championship.
Unity’s key centre Delvin Goh and team captain Wong Keng Yang accounted for nearly half of their team’s points despite sitting out most of the second and fourth periods with Bukit Panjang unable to overturn a double-digit first quarter deficit.
Delvin and Keng Yang had 10 points each in the opening period, and finished with 21 and 19 respectively. Delvin’s 1.98 metre frame meant that the Bukit Panjang players had to resort to mid and long-range jumpers to avoid having their shots in the paint swatted away by Delvin.
On the offensive end, Delvin’s superior footwork and post moves, coupled with the lack of coverage from Bukit Panjang, resulted in easy baskets almost always when the ball found its way to Delvin.
Unity pulled their starters for the entire fourth quarter, but their bench put on a good show and extended the lead, scoring 19 points while holding their opponents to only eight, and earning praise from Delvin.
“They played well. The defence was good and they scored many points, especially (Goh) Zhung Kiat on fast breaks.”
With the win, Unity top Group X and will play New Town Secondary School in the semi-finals on Wednesday, March 2. Jurong Secondary School, which will meet Hua Yi Secondary School in the other semi-final match, also have five wins from five in the second round, after defeating Kranji Secondary 73-39.
Jurong, along with Anglican High School and Dunman Secondary, are three schools which Delvin has identified as those that will challenge Unity for the National title. However, the graduation of national youth players like David and Peter Soo, Ng Weixiang and Remus Low from Unity’s all-conquering 2010 B Division squad has weakened the team, something which Delvin concedes.
“Without those players, it’s really difficult. But we have some Secondary Fives in our team so it’s still ok. Main players from other schools like Anglican High have also graduated, so they are in the same situation.”
“I really hope that we can defend the title, but it depends on how we progress in the national rounds. We hope to play well for every game,” said Delvin.
In other games, a masterful second half showing enabled Jurong West Secondary to beat Bukit Batok Secondary 61-30 to finish fourth of six teams in Group Y. Dunearn Secondary also finished fourth in Group X after beating Zhenghua Secondary 48-35, a match which ended with Dunearn’s Royston Goh making a buzzer-beating shot from just about at half-court.
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