By Lee Hwee Cheng
Home United’s player (in white jersey) drives then dishes to a teammate on his right against AMK’s defender. (Photo © Les Tan/Red Sports)
Singapore Basketball Centre, Wednesday, June 6, 2007 – In the Under-16 Boys’ preliminary round on Wednesday, Home United spared no mercy as they trounced a troubled Ang Mo Kio CC Red 124-21, while Tong Whye Temple shrugged off early struggles to beat T-Net Club @ Bukit Merah A 67-37.
Launching into a quick-paced game right from the start with a full-court press tactic, Home United looked determined to go non-stop in this game. Forcing the opponents into turnovers and offensive errors, Home United capitalized on their defensive strength to score quick points on the fast breaks and easily executed cut-and-pass moves. ng Mo Kio, on the other hand, had put up a good fight but only in the early half of the quarter, giving chase to 6-10.
For the later half of the quarter, Ang Mo Kio were just held to one more point from a free throw while their carelessness cost them dearly in the face of Home United’s overwhelming defensive pressure. Home United went on a 17-1 run to finish the first quarter 27-7.
Home United scored the next 13 points early in the second quarter – almost all from steals and fast breaks. Looking sluggish from the hard runs and lacking the on-court wits to counter Home United’s control of the game pace, Ang Mo Kio were entirely outclassed in this quarter as they managed to score only eight points, while their opponents continued to rebound, shoot, drive and sprint their way to another 17 points. Home United essentially won the game at half time with a 59-15 lead.
In a horrifying and demoralizing first three minutes of the second half for Ang Mo Kio, Home United continued their pressurising full-court defense, and practically intercepted all baseline inbound passes by Ang Mo Kio to put in easy baskets successively. Home United scored 14 quick points in these three minutes, while Ang Mo Kio looked absolutely clueless as to how to break through Home United’s defense.
Drama erupted at this point when Ang Mo Kio’s coach called for a time-out and an internal feud almost resulted in a walk-out by the Ang Mo Kio camp. The game came to a halt for a few minutes, before it resumed under the intervention of the officials who had to persuade the Ang Mo Kio boys to finish the game. But by then, the Ang Mo Kio team were resigned to their fate. Home United went on with their game and ended the fourth quarter 124-21.
On Court Two, where most of the drama took place on the court instead, Tong Whye Temple had a slow start fending off T-Net Club’s diligent offense and defense to finish the first quarter with only a two-point lead at 13-11. In the second quarter, Tong Whye outscored their opponents 15-7, and extended the lead further by ten at 28-18.
T-Net continued with their fight and displayed diligence in their offensive game. But relying more on individual players and more prone to unforced mistakes both in the offensive and the defensive court, they found themselves in scoring slumps when the key players could not find their shooting touches and when they turned the ball over numerous times to set their opponents up on counter attacks.
Tong Whye, on the other hand, displayed more sound offensive tactics as a team, and their stronger rebounding force and their fast break opportunities gave them the edge in the game. Tong Whye went on to finish the third quarter 47-24, and eventuall took the game by thirty points at 67-37.
Home United’s #12 Kelvin Liang drives on a lay-up while an AMK player tries to catch up from the back. (Photo © Les Tan/Red Sports)
Home United’s #10 takes a jumpshot despite the presence of an AMK defender. (Photo © Les Tan/Red Sports)
Home United’s player makes an attempt at the basket in the midst of defensive arms. (Photo © Les Tan/Red Sports)
Home United’s #12 drives for a basket. (Photo © Les Tan/Red Sports)
Home United’s player makes a jumper in the face of an AMK defender. (Photo © Les Tan/Red Sports)
T-Net’s #9 goes for a left-hand lay-up against a Tong Whye defender. (Photo © Les Tan/Red Sports)
Tong Whye’s #10 Hiongyong takes a shot despite the tight defense of T-Net’s #10. (Photo © Les Tan/Red Sports)
T-Net’s #11 evades a Tong Whye defender as he goes on a left-handed drive. (Photo © Les Tan/Red Sports)
Tong Whye’s #9 takes a shot against a T-Net defender. (Photo © Les Tan/Red Sports)
Editor’s note: If you do recognize yourselves or any of your friends in these pictures, do drop us a note in the Comments" section, and we’ll update the captions accordingly. Thanks!