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

Avinesh (NYJC #4) draws contact as he goes for a lay-up. He finished with a game-high 16 points in the victory. (Photo  © Chan Hua Zheng/Red Sports)

Avinesh (NYJC #4) draws contact as he goes for a lay-up. He finished with a game-high 16 points in the victory. (Photo 1 © Chan Hua Zheng/Red Sports)

Singapore Basketball Centre, Wednesday, May 9, 2018 — For the second year running, Nanyang Junior College (NYJC) secured victory over Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) in both teams’ final National A Division Basketball Championship second-round fixture, but once again, the result was a mere formality.

NYJC secured a 61–34 victory over HCI but the result was marred by NYJC’s inability to qualify for the top four once again.

Rewind a year, HCI were also drawn to face NYJC in the second round and the former went on to secure top spot in the group prior to facing the already eliminated NYJC in both teams’ final second-round fixture, which NYJC won 36-35.

It was the same old story for both teams this year.

HCI had defeated Meridian Junior College (MJC) and Raffles Institution (RI) to guarantee themselves the top spot, while NYJC’s losses to MJC and RI meant that they were already eliminated once again before facing HCI.

Avinesh (NYJC #4) scored a game-high 16 points; Leow Zhan Xian (NYJC #28) added 15 and Wilbur Tan (NYJC #26) had 11 to lead a spirited NYJC charge against their opponents, which had not tasted defeat all season long.

NYJC put together a game-changing 17–4 run in the third quarter – which included seven from Wilbur (NYJC #26) and six from Avinesh (NYJC #4) – to take complete control and a 20-point lead heading into the final quarter.

Ahead of the semi-finals, HCI acknowledge that their overall performance has to be better.

“It’s a great wake up call for the team, we have to remember that no victory comes easy,” said Travis Thong (HCI #6).

“We’ll use this feeling (of defeat) as an intrinsic motivation to push ourselves even harder in preparation for the semi-finals,” the HCI captain added.

HCI will face National Junior College (NJC) in the semi-finals after the latter secured a spot in the final four for the first time in school history.

Anderson Junior College (AJC) will face Meridian Junior College (MJC) in the other semi-final, in a repeat of their clash in the preliminary round of this year’s tournament that saw AJC scrape past MJC 51–48.

The semi-finals will be played at the Jurong East Sports Hall on May 15, starting with the tip-off between HCI and NJC at 1.30pm, followed by AJC against MJC at 3pm.

Scoring by Quarter

1st Q: 6–12
2nd Q: 13–14 (19–26)
3rd Q: 4–17 (23-43)
4th Q: 11–18 (34–61)

Top Scorers

Chua Qi Wei (#4) – 10 points

Avinesh (#4) – 16 points
Leow Zhan Xian (#28) – 15 points
Wilbur Tan (#26) – 11 points

HCI Roster
Ondre Tann (#2), Lin Yuan Xun (#3), Chua Qi Wei (#4), Travis Thong (#6), Kenneth Koh (#7), Chong Ke-Ming (#8), Wei Yong Xi (#10), Guan Xiao (#12), Shin Dong Hun (#18), Yan Wei Dong (#21), Kuan Jian Rong (#27), Vernen Lim (#35)

NYJC Roster
Avinesh (#4), Yang Kai Xun (#6), Tay Zhi Yi (#7), Liang En Mao (#11), Ng Zheng Wei (#21), Nixon Ng Lixuan (#23), Teo Yi Quan (#24), Zhong Zhu Chen (#25), Wilbur Tan Ming Sheng (#26), Nicholas Quah Yan Hui (#27), Leow Zhan Xian (#28), Lim Yan Rui (#29)

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