Story and photos by Stefanus Ian/Red Sports
NUS University Sports Centre, Wednesday, June 13, 2018 — National University of Singapore (NUS) opened their NYSI Water Polo league campaign with an emphatic 20-6 win over Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) to record their first three points.
Playing at their home pool, the boys in blue did not waste any time racing to a commanding 9-2 lead against the visitors within the first two quarters before continuing their dominance throughout.
NUS captain Bryan Ong (#7) said he felt his team “played quite decently” against their opponents, adding that their attack took a while to get into gear.
“As the game progressed, and we started to wake up a bit more I think that’s when things started getting better, our attack was a bit stronger as well and we started finishing our shots,” said the 22-year-old.
The win was a confidence boost for the team and Bryan said the team is taking the tournament seriously.
“I would say (this tournament) is important because our team is currently rebuilding… For our squad, we are really young and I think this is an important tournament for us to gel together,” said Bryan, who said that for some of the NUS players it was their first time playing together with the team.
Bryan Ong (NUS #7) ended the match with eight goals while his teammate Daryl Ho (#8) had six with Gerald Sim (#9), Eldon Ng (#6), Bryant Low (#3) and Justin Chia (#5) rounding up the rest of the goals.
In the first quarter, NUS focused their attack down the left flank and stretched their lead quickly through Darren who scored within the first minute of the match. Combined with Daryl, the two players racked up seven of NUS’ nine goals in the first two quarters.
With a comfortable 9-2, NUS settled into the game and was controlling the pace of the match — varying their attacks between fast long passes and slow calculated attacks when they need to.
Ngee Ann Polytechnic simply could not keep up physically and struggled to settle into any rhythm in the opening quarters. Their passes were often intercepted as they kept turning the ball over to the home team.
It was only in the third quarter that the boys in white manage to find their passes and begin threatening NUS’ goal. Two minutes into the third quarter, Don Tan (NP #6) finished off a string of passes with an emphatic goal to score NP’s third goal.
But alas, NP’s revival was too little too late. Although they managed to score three more goals in the final quarter, NUS thumped in six to clinch their first victory of the season. Despite the loss, NP’s coach Alvin Lee said it was not a bad performance for his boys, considering that they had no prior training having just finished their examinations.
“There were a few six-on-five (drills) that they needed to do and they performed what I wanted… it’s just that we are not fit, totally not fit,” Lee said after the match.
But Lee believes that the tournament, which is the first water polo league of its kind during this period of the year, will benefit his boys a lot.
“The younger boys, the younger generation, they need more sparring partners, they need more experience and all that so it’s a good thing for everyone.” said Lee.
NUS will face Nanyang Polytechnic next while NP will play against Nanyang Technological University next on Monday, June 18.
Scoring by Quarter
NUS vs NP
1st Q: 3-1
2nd Q: 9-2 (6-1)
3rd Q: 14-3 (5-1)
4th Q: 20-6 (6-3)
Bryan Ong (#7) – 8 goals
Daryl Ho (#8) – 6 goals
Gerald Sim (#9) – 2 goals
Eldon Ng (#6) – 2 goals
Bryant Low (#3) – 1 goal
Justin Chia (#5) – 1 goal
Don Tan (#6) – 2 goals
Shawn Koo (#9) – 2 goals
Kam Jia Juo (#12) – 1 goal
Brandon Kong (#2) – 1 goal
Bryan Santoso (#1), Gerald Low (#2), Bryant Low (#3), Jue Fei (#4), Justin Chia (#5), Eldon Ng (#6), Bryan Ong (#7), Daryl Ho (#8), Gerald Sim (#9), Shawn Lim (#10), Darren Cheng (#11), Toh Han Wei (#12)
Chan Roi-Wy (#1), Brandon Kong (#2), Gareth Tan (#3), James Lim (#4), Joe Jin Xun (#5), Don Tan (#6), Esmond Sim (#7), Shawn Koo (#9), Alwin Lim (#10), Lim Kai Zhe (#11), Kam Jia Juo (#12), Sai Dinesh (#13)
More photos next page