Story by Dylan Chua/Red Sports. Photos by Chan Hua Zheng/Red Sports.

Amos Tai (NV #7) looks for a driving lane in the defense. He scored a game-high 21 points in the victory. (Photo 1 © Chan Hua Zheng/Red Sports)

Singapore Basketball Centre, Thursday, February 22, 2018 — North Vista Secondary (NV) outlast Christ Church Secondary (CHR) in a battle of differing styles to claim a 78–63 victory and advance to the North Zone B Division Basketball Championship Final.

Amos Tai (NV #7) scored a game-high 21 points and Justen Chiam (NV #11) added 17, providing North Vista with the production and energy as the 2016 champions secured a return to the Championship Game after falling to Woodgrove Secondary at the semi-final stage last year.

North Vista rolled out a starting line-up of five quick guards and were clearly intent on outrunning Christ Church in the open court. A smaller line-up also meant that North Vista were constantly running plays to free up their shooters for open looks from three-point territory.

Christ Church, who were appearing in their second consecutive zonal semi-final, started with a traditional line-up of 3 guards and 2 big men but struggled in the opening exchanges as their big men were slow in getting back on transition defence.

North Vista started the game at an electrifying pace and used a full-court press whenever they had the opportunity. North Vista out-hustled and outran Christ Church with their energy and athleticism on both ends of the court, and were simply too much for their opponents to handle in the opening five minutes. This helped North Vista build an early 17–6, double-digit lead.

Christ Church, who were led by Pan Ming Hui (CHR #34) with a team-high 15 point, slowly settled into the contest thereafter. Jason Soh (CHR #21) scored six straight points as they constantly found success through their big men and came roaring back to cut the deficit to 18–23 after one.

Christ Church took control in the 2nd quarter, outscoring their opponents 21–18 as North Vista could not sustain the pace they showed in the opening few minutes of the game. The game was poised for an entertaining second half with North Vista narrowly in the lead at 41–39.

With 7:35 left to play in the 3rd quarter, Brendon Koh (CHR #35) tied the game at 47 and got the crowd on its feet. Yet, that proved to be the closest Christ Church would get to North Vista as Amos (NV #7) answered with back to back treys to halt Christ Church’s momentum. North Vista held a 58–51 lead heading into the final quarter.

Christ Church got within striking distance twice in the final 2:19 of the game, but Amos’ (NV #7) clutch shooting denied Christ Church any hopes of a comeback when he knocked down a three-pointer from the left baseline corner on both occasions.

An outstanding offensive performance from Amos (NV #7) saw him make five of his team’s 11 three-pointers in a game which North Vista’s game plan came out on top.

In a desperate attempt to reduce the deficit in the final minute, Christ Church made costly turnovers as North Vista closed the game out on a 7–0 run to secure a comfortable 15-point victory.

Christ Church will face Montfort Secondary in the 3rd/4th placing match on February 26 at 2.30pm. The match will be played at the Singapore Basketball Centre.

North Vista will face reigning champion Presbyterian High School in the final. This comes after Presbyterian High used a strong second half performance to defeat first-time semi-finalist Montfort Secondary. Having lost to Presbyterian High 63–59 in the second round just 15 days ago, North Vista will be hoping for a better showing in the final.

The traditional powerhouses have a rich history in this fixture, having met in four of the last nine finals – in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2014. Presbyterian High prevailed in three of the four matches, with the exception coming in 2012.

North Vista will look to wrestle back the title they relinquished last year to Presbyterian High in what should be another classic encounter between these rivals. The final will tip-off at 2.30pm on February 28 at the Singapore Basketball Centre.

Scoring by Quarter
Christ Church vs North Vista

1st Q: 18–23
2nd Q: 21–18 (39–41)
3rd Q: 12–17 (51–58)
4th Q: 12–20 (63–78)

Top Scorers
Christ Church

Pan Ming Hui (#34) – 15 points
Brendon Koh (#35) – 11 points
Hsieh Yu Lin (#27) – 11 points
Jason Soh (#21) – 11 points

North Vista
Amos Tai (#7) – 21 points
Justen Chiam (#11) – 17 points
Reuben David T Amado (#30) – 13 points

Christ Church Roster
Wong Yi Dian (#20), Soh Jing Wei Jason (#21), Gian Rafael Bernardo Palermo (#22), Rico Jann Iv Liu Jia Jun (#23), Gan Zi Kang Kenji (#24), Yu Yaw Wuei Terrell (#25), Lau Shi Hong (#26), Hsieh Yu Lin (#27), Yeo Jun Loong, Marcus (#28), Lin Kai Yao (#30), Robert Guile Fernandez Maranan (#31), Nyan Lin (#32), Yeo Yuan Jun (#33), Pan Ming Hui (#34), Koh Jun Hao Brendon (#35)

North Vista Roster
Shayan Medhi Nejad (#2), Chan Qi Feng (#3), Chace Ng Kai Le (#6), Vincent Gerard Embay Bancod (#4), Sim Yi Brenndon Ariffin (#5), Amos Tai (#7), Dillon Ong Yan Kai (#9), Arnald Foo Wei Bin (#10), Justen Chiam (#11), Damien Yau (#25), Reuben David F Amado (#30), Wu Zhi Yuan (#32)

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