Story by Jiexin Neo/Red Sports. Photos by Clara Yuan/Red Sports and Jerald Ang/Red Sports
OCBC Arena, Friday, June 12, 2015 — Singapore beat Thailand 65–58 to top their group in the 28th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games basketball tournament. They will next play Indonesia in the semi-finals on Sunday, June 14, at OCBC Arena.
Singapore went on a 7–0 scoring run to start off the game. The hosts forced several turnovers and scored through them to take a comfortable 23–12 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Thailand came back stronger in the second quarter to gradually trim the deficit, scoring 12 straight points to trail 28–30. Singapore faced foul troubles as Desmond Oh, Wong Wei Long and Ng Hanbin had accumulated three personal fouls each by the end of the first half, which saw Singapore hold a 32-28 lead.
In the third quarter, Singapore found difficulty scoring in the paint, but Desmond scored two consecutive outside shots to keep Singapore in the lead. Thereafter, he picked up his fourth foul of the game and was substituted out. Thailand eventually drew even at 42–42 towards the end of the quarter and then brought the tie to 44–44.
From there, Singapore shut off Thailand’s offense completely with Russel Low making two blocks in a row to deny them from scoring beyond the arc. Singapore went on to score five unanswered points to lead 49–44 by the end of the third quarter.
In the final quarter, Singapore held their ground and outscored Thailand 16–14 to end the game 65–58 winners.
“It was good. We played well, we played hard, we didn’t give up and I think we’ve come a long way for this game and it has been our aim to beat them since the last SEA Games. Towards the fourth quarter we broke their zone defense and they went man-to-man which was much more comfortable for us,” commented Russel. “Indonesia will be a tough team to beat but we’ll give our best and we’re looking forward to show Singapore that we can do it.”
Top-scorer Desmond said, “It was really fantastic. We’re really very happy about the win. We want to thank the crowd because they really pulled us up. We got to bring the same intensity today to the next game. I believe that if we bring the intensity up, pretty much we’ll play in the final.”
Scoring by quarter
Singapore vs Thailand
2Q: 9–16 (32–28)
3Q: 17–16 (49–44)
4Q: 16–14 (65–58)
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