Story by Daniel Yeo/Red Sports. Photos by Dylan Chua/Red Sports.
Singapore Basketball Centre, Wednesday, May 9, 2018 — A tight quarter-final group in the National Girls’ A Division Basketball Championship was decided as Dunman High School (DHS) advanced to the semi-finals, sending National Junior College (NJC) home with a 28–23 win.
Dunman High have now secured the first seed in their group with a perfect 3–0 win-loss record in the quarter-finals, while National JC concludes their season with a 1–2 record.
Dunman High were led by the aggressive play of Tan Hui Xiang (DHS #7) and a game-high 11 points, while Gladys Lim (DHS #6) chipped in with 10. As for National JC, captain Chloe Tan (NJC #30) scored a game-high 11, while adding three makes from three-point land.
As the starting five for each team stepped onto the hardwood, it was clear that one team towered over the other – Dunman High’s advantage would be their size, height, and length over National JC.
With some quick work off the tip, Gladys Lim (DHS #6) started a 6–0 run for Dunman High in the game’s first minute. With their size, Dunman High’s rebounding would limit National JC to one-shot possessions, while pulling down offensive rebounds for more opportunities to score themselves.
Turning to their favourite weapon, the full-court press, National JC got right back into the game with some aggressive defence.
Slowly but steadily, they cut into their deficit, and two minutes into the second quarter, Chloe Tan (NJC #30) drilled a three to give National JC their first lead of the game at 11–10.
With momentum on their side, there was no doubt National JC would be pushing hard to increase their lead.
But, Tan Hui Xiang (DHS #7) took over for her team, scoring four of their six points in the quarter to keep them close. With the ball in her hands, she would create in isolation, especially with highlight plays like her tough turn-around elbow jumper over her defender.
Dunman High were also running plenty of plays which centred around some high-low post action with their bigs, knowing that National JC would have to crowd the paint to slow them down. But, despite drawing players inside, Dunman High could not convert on their looks from beyond the arc. Throughout the half, they did not make a single three-pointer.
Dunman High had to resort to other methods to score – in particular, fast-break points. Throughout the quarter, they frequently double-teamed the National JC ball-handler, forcing turnovers for a slim 16–15 lead going into halftime.
20 minutes of basketball left, and in its first minute, Chloe (NJC #30) took the lead back for National JC with another trey. They would only score once more in the quarter, however, as Dunman High got into their zone. Finally, Teh Wen Jan (DHS #4) would convert a three-point look. It would be Dunman High’s only three-pointer, but it would also be their most important points, as it gave them a lead they would not give up again.
As the fourth quarter began, both teams locked in defensively and held each other scoreless for the frame’s first 4:30.
With less than four minutes in the game, yet another three from Chloe (NJC #30) broke their scoring drought, making it a one-possession game at 26–23. However, down the stretch, National JC made some costly turnovers when they needed to score most. All of Dunman High’s length swooped on every loose ball, and just like that, Dunman High were headed to the semi-finals.
Hui Xiang admitted after the game: “It might not have been our (the team’s) best game but I’m glad we stuck to the game plan and managed to remain composed even during times where we were down.”
As for advancing to the semi-finals, she added: “We know it might not be easy but we’re definitely looking for the win and we’ll fight our hardest till the final whistle.”
For National JC, this would be their last game of the season. An emotional Lau Yu Hui (NJC #18) talked about the bond between her teammates and the memories they will remember from this season: “The energy that we put in on the court – the training wasn’t easy, and we spent a lot of time training hard in preparation for this season. For some of us, we’re graduating, and these are some of the very good memories that we’ll take away. All the effort that we put in on the court, off the court, the good times we spent together.”
Dunman High will face Nanyang Junior College in the semi-finals on May 15. It will be held at Jurong East Sports Hall, with tip-off at 10.30am.
Scoring by Quarter
National Junior College v Dunman High School
1st Q: 8–10
2nd Q: 7–6 (15–16)
3rd Q: 5–9 (20–25)
4th Q: 3–3 (23–28)
National Junior College
Chloe Tan Kei (#30) – 11 points, 3 3PM
Dunman High School
Tan Hui Xiang (#7) – 11 points
Gladys Lim Hung (#6) – 10 points
National Junior College Roster
Shannon Or Shao Ning (#3), Vicky Chung Tzu Chi (#4), Nicole Lee Wen Wan (#6), Cheryl Lee Xue Er (#9), Gladys Woo (#11), Glenda Lee Jia En (#15), Ang Yi Xuan (#16), Lau Yu Hui (#18), Looi Shu Wen Nicole (#19), Sylvia Yap (#29), Chloe Tan Kei (#30), Ashley Wong (#31)
Dunman High School Roster
Teh Wen Jan (#4), Gladys Leng Yun Hui (#5), Gladys Lim Hung (#6), Tan Hui Xiang (#7), Koo Jing Ting (#8), Kolette Lim Yi Qi (#9), Lim Zhi Jia (#10), Tabitha Tay Zi Qi (#11), Ong Qing Qing (#12), Yew Yun Chian (#14), Teh Wen Ruey (#15)
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