By Lim Yu-Han/Red Sports

hci vs pjc a div bball final

Chun Wang Xuan (#6) of HCI had a game-high 21 points and won MVP honours. (Photo 1 © Les Tan/Red Sports)


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Jurong East Sports Hall, Wednesday, May 22, 2013 — Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) dominated the courts as they emerged triumphant in a 69–43 victory over Pioneer Junior College (PJC) in the National A Division Boys’ Basketball Championship. It was HCI’s eight straight title since 2006 while for PJC, this is their first ever final appearance.

PJC surprised HCI in the first quarter as they managed to contain HCI’s offence with an impressive zonal defence and multiple defensive boards. Chua Cheng Wei (#9) of PJC stood out when he rolled in a brilliant lay-up despite great pressure from the HCI centers.

Despite Tan Jun Wei (#4) of HCI extending their lead to 7–4 with his free throws, PJC’s defence kept the scores close. Deafening cheers erupted from the PJC supporters when Rymond Neo (#5) sank a baseline jumper to give PJC their first lead of the game at 9–10.

However, this proved to be short-lived when Jun Wei (#4) sank a short jumper to reclaim the lead for HCI to end the quarter leading 11–10.

PJC started the opening of the second quarter by turning the ball over from a 24-second shot clock violation. However, Amos Choy (#11) retained his composure and sank a three pointer to spark PJC to a 13–17 lead. PJC’s offensive tactics gave them an edge over the physically stronger HCI players.

PJC’s sweet lead was brief as Chee Khan Liang (#7) single-handedly sparked a 6–0 run with consecutive threes, swinging HCI back to the lead at 19–17. It was only a matter of minutes before PJC lost their temporal hold on the game as HCI went on a relentless 15–0 run. With less than a minute left in the second, Jun Wei (#4) continued his stellar performance and ended the quarter with a reverse layup for a 32–21 HCI lead.

The third quarter started with Amos (#11) of PJC and Tan Kai Shawn (#11) of HCI trading three-pointers. Brandon Ong (#14) of PJC was invaluable to his team with his steady baskets, including a three-pointer of his own.

Fatigue took over as PJC could not maintain their sterling form. However, PJC’s Rymond Neo (#5) was outstanding and continued with excellent defence in the paint against the towering HCI centers.

Taking advantage of his height, Chun Wang Xuan (#6) of HCI scored an uncontested underbasket to extend their lead to 53–31. Teammate Johrathon Cheok (#9) organised several attacks and added a three-pointer. HCI outscored PJC 26–11 and ended the third quarter with a 58–32 lead.

In the final quarter, PJC attempted to reduce the deficit through a full-court defensive press. However, HCI continued to dominate with Jun Wei (#4) hitting several baskets to pull away to an eventual 69–43 win.

Captain of HCI, Tan Jun Wei (#4), was all smiles. “We did our best. Team identity is defence. Our teamwork allowed us to carry out our defence. Despite facing a tough fight against the 1-3-1 defence from PJC, we were prepared as we expected a difficult fight. PJC was laudable to have come all the way through the group stage.”

PJC’s captain Mark Soh (#7) was contented for having come so far. “We didn’t even think that we could get past the first round. This is truly a miracle season. We have never been in the top four before, much less the final. We knew the opponents we faced – they were stronger. However, we still went in with the mindset that we won’t give up, all the way, until the end.”

Chun Wang Xuan (#6) of HCI walked away with the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award for the final.

A happy Wang Xuan (#6) commented: “I am very pleased with the peformance. I want to dedicate the MVP to the whole team, for they helped me become who I am today.”

Score by Quarter
1st Quarter: 11–10
2nd Quarter: 21–11 (32–21)
3rd Quarter: 26–11 (58–32)
4th Quarter: 10–10 (45–25)

Top Scorers
Tan Jun Wei (#4) – 21 points
Chun Wang Xuan (#6) — 21 points
Tan Kai Shawn (#11) – 10 points (1 x 3-pointers)
Chee Khan Liang (#7) – 8 points (2 x 3-pointers)

Brandon Ong Jin Jie (#14) — 13 points (1 x 3-pointers)
Chua Cheng Wei (#9) — 12 points
Amos Choy Xian How (#11) – 10 points (2 x 3-pointers)

HCI Roster
Tan Jun Wei (#4), Zhang Si Yuan (#5), Chun Wang Xuan (#6), Chee Khan Liang (#7), Nicholas Kek Zhi Hao (#8), Johrathon Cheok Er Wen (#9), Xu Xin Yi (#10), Tan Kai Shawn (#11), Keith Chua Zhi Qiang (#12), Gao Wen Han (#13), Ong Sze Chuan (#14), Tan Jun (#15)

PJC Roster
Yeo Eng Heng (#4), Neo Rymond (#5), Jacky Cheng Sing Wei (#6), Mark Soh Zhong Wei (#7), Lim Shijie Shawn (#8), Chua Cheng Wei (#9), Cherwin Lim Tian Wei (#10), Amos Choy Xian How (#11), Theng Jia Sheng (#12), Tan Jian Yong (#13), Brandon Ong Jin Jie (#14), Shawn Yip Jia Hao (#15)

2013 National A Division Boys Basketball Championship – full fixtures and results

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