Story by REDintern Daniel Yeo. Photos by Dylan Chua/Red Sports.
OCBC Arena, Monday, March 26, 2018 — After a tough loss to Dunman Sec in their previous game, Christ Church Secondary (CHR) soldiered on with a straightforward 52–36 win over Guangyang Secondary (GYS).
With this win, Christ Church have now qualified for the second round of the nationals, with a 2–1 win-loss record. As for Guangyang, this was their final game of the 2018 season.
Christ Church were led by their star swingman Pan Ming Hui (CHR #34) with 14 points. Brendon Koh (CHR #35) contributed 10 points off the bench in the Christ Church win. Guangyang were led by Jackson Kong (GYS #0) with 10 points.
If there were any doubts about who Christ Church’s most valuable player was, those doubts were answered in this game. Ming Hui (CHR #34) stepped up in captain Rico Liu’s (CHR #23) absence due to injury and led the team to their spot in the top eight.
On offence, he was everywhere – going coast-to-coast, drawing fouls on drives to the hoop, creating for his teammates in the open floor, grabbing offensive rebounds and making putbacks. On defence, he was directing his teammates on defensive assignments, throwing his active hands into passing lanes, boxing out, closing out, and hustling for loose balls.
From the get-go, it looked like Ming Hui (CHR #34) was on a mission. Christ Church won the tip and he immediately took the ball into the Guangyang defence to finish on an and-one layup. Although he missed the free throw, he carried on this momentum and went on to score eight of Christ Church’s 15 in the first quarter.
Christ Church’s Lin Kai Yao (CHR #30) also played a part of those 15 points in the early minutes, as he probed the Guangyang defence and drew fouls to raise Christ Church’s offensive tempo.
On the other hand, Lacdao John Aldrei Cueto (GYS #4) put Guangyang on the scoreboard as he sank a trey. Guangyang seemed to be focusing on their scoring from three-point land, instead of the painted area, as they passed on easy looks for ball movement to the open man on the perimeter. Guangyang was also able to take advantage of Christ Church’s smaller bench lineup to score and prevent an all-out blowout.
Both teams appeared to be using a zone defence in the game, and knowing this, each team did their best to exploit it in their own way. Christ Church was aggressively jumping into passing lanes, in the hopes of causing steals and fast-breaks. Guangyang used their backdoor cuts to score on high-percentage shots near the basket.
The first half of basketball ended 25–15 in Christ Church’s favour.
The second half of basketball saw both teams re-energised and scoring with flair. For Christ Church, Jun Hao (CHR #36) gave his defender the works with his shake-and-bake dribble and a flashy hand-off to his big man Yeo Yuan Jun (CHR #33) for the easy layup. For Guangyang, Jackson (GYS #0) scored on a two-on-one fast-break by looking at his teammate to freeze the Christ Church defender.
Jackson (GYS #0) continued his good run of form by leaking out on the fast-break and scoring an and-one basket plus the free throw. However, although it looked like Guangyang was getting into their groove after a 15–14 quarter, the fourth quarter told a different story.
Although Guangyang was pulling down offensive rebounds to go along with their smooth passing and ball movement, they were held to a mere six points. Despite their best efforts, their shots were not falling, and the game ended shortly after with a score of 36–52.
We asked Guangyang how they felt about their last game of the season. Nicholas Chua (GYS #20) was satisfied with the team’s performance, saying that “We played well.”, while Lacdao John Aldrei Cueto (GYS #4) added that “We had fun.”
As for Christ Church, who will be advancing to the second round, we asked captain Rico Liu (#23) what the team would do to prepare themselves for the next round: “It’s all about the mindset and the mentality. If you tell yourself you want to win, you will. Obviously, everyone here in the nationals will tell themselves that they want to win, but whoever wants it more is ultimately going to win.”
Christ Church has been drawn into the same group as powerhouses ACS Barker, North Vista, and Unity, who are all reigning zonal champions. The action from this tough group will begin on Thursday at OCBC Arena.
Scoring by Quarter
Guangyang v Christ Church
1st Q: 8–15
2nd Q: 7–10 (15–25)
3rd Q: 15–14 (30–39)
4th Q: 6–13 (36–52)
Kong Chek Shen Jackson (#0) – 10 points
Pan Ming Hui (#34) – 14 points
Koh Jun Hao Brendon (#35) – 10 points
Kong Chek Shen Jackson (#0), Eugene Ho Zhi Wei (#1), Rio Chong Han (#2), Andy Lim Yu Kwang (#3), Lacdao John Aldrei Cueto (#4), Brendan Lee Jun Hong (#12), Darrel Tan (#13), Nicholas Chua Wee Kiat (#20), Siddharth (#21), Vallejo Carino Gabriel Vince (#24), Kwong Liang Bin (#26), Evan Ang Jia Le (#30), Gideon Rajan S/O Balakrishna (#41)
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), 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), Jun Hao (#36)
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