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

Khant Zay Naing (ACSB #8) locks on the target from beyond the arc. He scored 16 points in the game. (Photo 1 © Dylan Chua/Red Sports)

Khant Zay Naing (ACSB #8) locks on the target from beyond the arc. He had a game-high 16 points against Christ Church. (Photo 1 © Dylan Chua/Red Sports)

OCBC Arena, Monday, April 2, 2018 — Christ Church (CHR) survived a massive rally by ACS (Barker Rd) [ACSB] that almost evaporated their 20-point lead at the start of the fourth quarter to emerge as 73–70 victors in the second round of the National B Division Basketball Championship.

“For the first three quarters, we made our shots and we played good defense. But in the last quarter, we rushed on offense and turned the ball over (against ACS Barker’s full-court press). We need to learn to patiently break a full-court press and not be nervous,” reflected Pan Ming Hui (CHR #34) after the match.

Both teams now have a 1–1 win-loss record in the second round and will have to win their final respective match in the second round to stand a chance to qualify for the semi-finals.

Christ Church was led by the duo of Wong Yi Dian (CHR #20) and Brendon Koh (CHR #35) who scored 12 points apiece. Wong Yi Dian (CHR #20) had all of his points from beyond the arc.

Pan Ming Hui (CHR #34) and Jason Soh (CHR #21) also turned in solid performances for Christ Church as they both added 11 points each.

ACS Barker had both Khant Zay Naing (ACSB #8) and Xavier Tan (ACSB #28) turn in 16 points apiece to lead all scorers while Calder Teo (ACSB #13) and Cayman Miguel (ACSB #9) both chipped in 11 points apiece.

ACS Barker struggled early in the game as they missed good looks at the basket and gave up turnovers from their half-court offence.

On the other hand, Christ Church took advantage of their speed and length to contest shots and intercept passes to trigger fast-breaks for easy transition points. As a result, Christ Church took control of the first quarter on a 12-3 run over the first 5 minutes and 38 seconds to build up an 18–7 lead by the end of the period.

ACS Barker were able to find their groove on offence as they started to make their shots. Their shooting from the perimeter carried their offence as they made 9 of their 17 points over the second quarter from three-pointers.

However, ACS Barker still could not slow down Christ Church’s offence, as they could not keep up with the quick ball movement from Christ Church that created open shots. At half-time, ACS Barker found themselves trailing 24–38.

Xavier Tan (ACSB #28) came alive in the third quarter after only scoring 2 points in the first half, scoring 10 of his 16 points in the third period alone as he tried to will his team back into the game by aggressively attacking the paint.

However, ACS Barker continued to struggle with their transition defence and Christ Church took advantage by playing at an uptempo pace as they scored 22 points in the period to lead 60–39 heading into the final period.

Christ Church drew first blood in the final period on a fast-break lay-up by Hsieh Yu Lin (CHR #27) to extend their lead to 23 points; their biggest lead in the match.

From the sidelines, it seemed that Christ Church already had the game in the bag, but a relentless ACS Barker seemed to have other plans.

In the penultimate quarter, ACS Barker awoke on the defensive end as they unleashed a suffocating full-court man-to-man defence that resulted in turnovers and forced shots from Christ Church.

Their defence fueled a 24–10 scoring run that brought them back to a mere 7-point deficit with 2:24 left in the game.

ACS Barker also resorted to fouling on the defensive end to put Pan Ming Hui (#34) on the foul line, putting the pressure on him to make his free-throws in order to maintain Christ Church’s lead.

However, nerves seemed to get the better of him as he only made three of his six free-throw attempts over the remaining course of the match that saw ACS Barker cut Christ Church’s lead to 73–70 with 46.5 seconds remaining.

However, ACS Barker would fall short of a fourth-quarter comeback as they failed to convert a last-second shot from outside the perimeter to force overtime and relief could be seen on the faces of the Christ Church team as they walk off with a slim 73–70 victory.

ACS Barker will next face North Vista, while Christ Church will be matched up against Unity. Both matches will tip-off at 12.50 pm on 4 April at the OCBC Arena.

Scoring by Quarter
Christ Church v ACS Barker
1st Q: 18–7
2nd Q: 20–17 (38–24)
3rd Q: 22–15 (60–39)
4th Q: 13–31 (73–70)

Leading Scorers
Christ Church

Wong Yi Dian (#20) — 12 points
Brendon Koh (#35) — 12 points
Pan Ming Hui (#34) — 11 points
Jason Soh (#21) — 11 points

ACS Barker
Khant Zay Naing (#8) — 16 points
Xavier Tan (#28) — 16 points
Cayman Miguel (#9) — 11 points
Calder Teo (#13) — 11 points

ACS Barker Roster
Wesley Wong (#2), Daniel Baking (#4), Dylan Lee (#6), Khant Zay Naing (#8), Cayman Miguel (#9), Dervin Leiroy Rajandhran (#11), Calder Teo (#13), Glen Chiam (#14), Panca (#15), Kuah Zi’En (#22), Jaryl Wee (#26), Xavier Tan (#28)

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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