Story By Zachary Foo/Red Sports. Photos by REDintern Clara Yuan
NTU Sports and Recreation Centre, Tuesday, January 14, 2014 — After a close fight throughout the first three quarters, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) pulled away in the final quarter to beat the National University of Singapore (NUS) 60–51. This was the first match for both teams in the Institute-Varsity-Polytechnic (IVP) Basketball Championship. Clara Chua (NUS #3) led all scorers with 14 points, while Tan Seow Hwee (NTU #15) led her team with 13 points. The teams last met in the Singapore University Games (SUniG) Basketball Championship, with NTU coming out 74–51 winners.
The first half was a close affair, both teams were evenly matched. Clara (NUS #3) was on fire early on, pouring in seven points in the first quarter to pace her team. On defence, active communication by NUS allowed them to close down on NTU’s attempts in the low post. This stifled NTU, as they were unable to settle into their usual offence, which typically involved Jia Min (NTU #6) setting up easy shots off the dribble for her teammates. As a result, NUS found themselves holding a one-point lead heading into the break, a position unfamiliar to them as compared to their previous match-up against NTU.
The third quarter marked the turning of the tide for NTU, as they started to display the poise of the team that claimed the SUniG title in 2013. Seow Hwee (NTU #15) was extremely dominant on the boards. She exhibited textbook positioning and technique to box out her opponents and secured crucial rebounds for her team. NUS responded with sloppy play, fumbling the ball on a few consecutive possessions and missing simple passes. Inexplicably, NUS still managed to finish the quarter down only three points.
Fatigue finally caught up with NUS in the final quarter, the lethargy rendering them incapable of making plays on both ends. Multiple jump shots were missed, while on the defensive end, NTU were allowed to easily secure offensive rebounds. All this culminated in NTU slowly pulling away with the lead and securing the 60–51 win.
NTU vice-captain, Chua Cunfang (#3) said: “Today was our first game, so we are still warming up. I am glad that the whole team fought hard towards the end. NUS has always been a tough team and they proved it even more so this season. Our goal is to win the IVP championship and on top of that, to improve the skills of each player.”
NUS captain, Nur Shuhadah (#17) said: “I think we played well today against the SUniG champions. We communicated really well today on defence and I think that was what contributed to the close scoreline. We have to minimise our turnovers in the future and calm down on offence.”
NUS vice-captain, Clara Chua (#3) added: “I feel that we lost because we were too anxious, we missed a lot of good shots. Late in the game, we took too many unnecessary shots and that caused our downfall. We have to keep up with the opposition while they are on the transition. They scored too many on us today.”
NUS and NTU both face Institute of Technical Education (ITE) on February 17, Friday and February 21, Tuesday respectively. Both games will be played at NTU Sports and Recreation Centre and will commence at 7pm.
Scoring by Quarter
NUS vs NTU
1st Quarter: 19–19
2nd Quarter: 10–9 (29–28)
3rd Quarter: 10–14 (39–42)
4th Quarter: 12–18 (51–60)
National University of Singapore
Clara Chua (#3) – 14 points (2 x 3-pointers)
Nanyang Technological University
Tan Seow Hwee (#15) – 13 points
Tan Xin Yi Vanessa (#1), Tan Yen Yi (#2), Chua Xing Fang Clara (#3), Tan Hsiang Yi (#4), Law Wei Ning (#5), Toh Sherlin (#6), Seah Kai Chyi Eva (#7), Wong Yun Ping Tammy (#9), Lim Rui Jia Alanna (#10), Ong Jia Min (#13), Tan Yi Lin (#14), Oon Zi Gui (#15), Nur Shuhadah Bte Mohamed A G (#17), Umi Amirah Bte Marzuki (#19), Chee Shi Ya (#20)
Ong Xue Li (#1), Tsang Wei Yi (#2), Chua Cunfang (#3), Yip Wen Yi Merlin (#4), Khong Yuen Mun Faith Gloria (#5), Lim Jia Min (#6), He Ran (#7), Koh Pei Ying (#8), Amelia Lee Yilin (#10), Ramona Wong Wei Xuan (#11), Lee Pei Jing (#12), Yoshida Yukie (#13), Anthea Chan (#14), Tan Seow Hwee (#15), Zhong Xin Jing (#16)
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