By REDintern Lim Yu-Han
Clementi Sports Hall, Monday, April 15, 2013 — Unity Secondary narrowly beat Presbyterian High School 76–72 in the semi-finals of the National B Division Basketball Championship to enter the final.
The match began with both teams matching each other point for point on the scoreboard. Unity’s Jacinth Aban Figueroa (#5) challenged with his layup and baseline jumper but Presbyterian High’s Jonas Tay (#7) responded with three impressive three-pointers. Teammate Wong Zhong Han (#10) blocked out a fast-break from Unity’s Jacinth (#5), intercepting a subsequent ball to provide an assist for teammate Abel Lim (#14).
Despite Jacinth (#5) responding with a layup, Zhong Han (#10) of Presbytarian High went on to sink in a calm three to give Presbytarian High a 22–18 lead. The first quarter alone had a massive haul of seven three-pointers, four from Presbyterian High and three from Unity.
Darryl Lee (#13) of Unity began the second quarter with his under-basket, but captain of Presbyterian High, Keith Chua (#5), put up a strong contest in the paint to accumulate a six-point streak. However, Unity were steadily closing the score gap to 26–30 with two minutes on the clock with several of Shaun Ang’s (#15) attacks. A final three by Foo Jun Jie (#6) of Unity enabled them to end the second quarter leading 32–30.
A layup from Unity’s captain Jason Ong (#10) opened the second half. The two teams battled to claim the lead, each team doing fast-breaks back-to-back and sinking many free throws to narrow the score gap. Presbyterian High’s Jonas (#7) was instrumental in coordinating strategic attacks with his agile drive-ins and quick assists. He slotted in a hook-shot but Unity’s Alvin Yuen (#7) answered with his own jumper. Presbyterian High fouled Alvin (#7) continually due to his aggressive penetrations, and Alvin took advantage by scoring many free throws to help Unity end the quarter leading 52–48.
Unity continued to score relentlessly in the fourth quarter with swift assists from Alvin (#7) to Darryl (#13) in the paint. Presbyterian High’s Zhong Han (#10) remained unfazed and equalised at 59–59 with his three-pointer at five minutes. Teammate Lin Shengxiang (#9) brought them back to the lead 61–59 with both his free throws. However, Unity’s Darryl (#13) returned the favour immediately, equalising at 61–61.
Despite Presbyterian High’s Zhong Han (#10) making the crowd go wild with his three-pointer, Jacinth (#5) of Unity dampened it with his fast-break for his team to trail by one at 63–64. Jonas (#7) sank in a jumper to Unity’s disappointment, but fouled Darryl (#13) at the other end to give away two free throws. Jonas (#7) then had a fast hook-shot to counter it. To Presbytarian High’s despair, Unity’s Shaun (#15) pulled off both his free throws to put his team level 68–68 with just 34 seconds to go.
Jacinth (#5) of Unity then had a chance to win the game in regulation time. The whole hall was in suspense as his three-pointer drew an arc in the air and circle around the rim of the hoop, then spun out again at the final buzzer, much to Presbyterian High’s relief. The game was now thrown into overtime, with five more minutes to determine who would go to the final.
Despite Presbyterian High’s Keith (#5) securing many precious rebounds, many of their three-point attempts failed to convert. Unity’s Shaun (#15) went on to score an under-basket and a free throw, spurring teammate Jason (#10) to flick in an uncontested layup. Unity continued with their 7–0 run to Presbyterian High’s dismay. Despite Tng Zhi Cai (#8) of Presbyterian High sinking both free throws, they could not stop Unity, losing the match 72–76 eventually.
Unity’s captain, Jason (#10), said with a relieved smile: “It was a great game. We gave our 100%. As for Presbyterian High, they also performed very well with their three-pointers.”
Keith (#5), captain of Presbyterian High, was surprisingly glad.
“We performed well. Our team was afraid of the opponents. However, we gave such a good fight, played with no regrets and I am very happy with my players!” said Keith.
Score by Quarter
Unity vs Presbyterian High
1st Quarter: 18–22
2nd Quarter: 14–8 (32–30)
3rd Quarter: 20–18 (52–48)
4th Quarter: 16–20 (68–68)
Overtime: 8–4 (76–72)
Jacinth Aban Figueroa (#5) — 20 points (3 x 3 pointers)
Alvin Yuen (#7) — 13 points (1 x 3 pointer)
Tay Zhi Kang Jonas (#7) — 24 points (3 x 3 pointer)
Keith Chua Song Lin (#5) — 14 points (2 x 3 pointers)
Wong Zhong Han (#10) — 14 points (2 x 3 pointers)
Foo Jun Lin (#4), Jacinth Aban Figueroa (#5), Foo Jun Jie (#6), Alvin Yuen (#7), Lee Ko Vic Ariel Nestor (#8), Pay Xuan Ju (#9), Jason Ong (#10), Lim Chu Ming (#11), Lim Jin Kai (#12), Darryl Lee (#13), Johnson Yeoh (#14), Shaun Ang (#15)
Presbyterian High Roster
Liau Li Jiang (#4), Keith Chua Song Lin (#5), Tan Ejin (#6), Tay Zhi Kang Jonas (#7), Tng Zhi Cai (#8), Lin Shengxiang (#9), Wong Zhong Han (#10), Lee Wee Jin Dylan (#11), Lim Zhi Cong (#12), Kiri Ng Yong Wen (#13), Abel Lim Han Yang (#14), Ng Huai Xi Nigel (#15)
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