Story and photos by Low Zheng Yu/Red Sports
The Wave, NTU, Monday, June 18, 2018 — Nanyang Technological University (NTU) made use of their size advantage to secure the 67-53 victory over Republic Polytechnic (RP) in the National Youth Sports Institute (NYSI) Basketball League.
NTU are now 1-0 on the win-loss record while RP drops to a 1-1 win-loss record as they had defeated Singapore Management University (SMU) previously.
It was a heated game from the get-go as both teams traded baskets to start the quarter. None would let up but it was NTU who got the upper hand and led 19-18 after the first quarter.
Unfazed, RP came into the second with increased intensity on both ends of the floor. But likewise, NTU matched it up with RP. Kerk Xuan Xian (RP #2) knocked down a go-ahead triple to beat the first half buzzer and allowed RP to take the 34-32 lead at the half.
RP carried the momentum they had into the third as they scored seven straight points to increase their lead. Despite that, NTU continued to fight back. It was a see-saw battle as both sides traded baskets which led to numerous lead changes.
With about two minutes left in the third quarter, NTU called a time-out to make some adjustments. They regrouped and came back with a better defensive game. They stopped RP from scoring while extending their lead.
NTU were up 53-45 at the end of the third.
Heading into the fourth, Zhen Yuhui (RP #8) had an offensive outburst, scoring 10 of his game-high 20 points. Despite his efforts to will his team to victory, NTU’s more balanced roster allowed them to substitute players without compromising their offensive abilities. Justin Lim (NTU #26) went on to score a game-high 20 points as well and NTU eventually outlasted RP 65-60.
NTU captain, Kan Wei Huat (NTU #8), commented, “Our team did not really play well today. We kind of got woken up by our coach during the game as he kept scolding us for not covering for each other properly. RP’s number 8 (Zhen Yuhui) had a lot of attempts at the three and we had many defensive lapses. Even towards the end, we were also struggling to cover for his shots. We got lucky in the end when RP had a few misses in a row which allowed us to hold on to our lead. This is not the usual style for NTU as we usually have a few players who lead the scoring more. But with the more balanced team now, we have to get used to this and share the ball more so that everyone gets involved in scoring the ball.”
RP captain, Desmond Loh (RP #32), said, “We had a lot of turnovers. NTU is physically stronger than us and some of our players just graduated from secondary school and have no experience playing at this level of intensity. This causes pressure whic led to several turnovers on our part at the end. The greatest takeaway from this match is the experience. Like I said, most of our players just graduated from secondary school so we want to give them the experience and groom them for POL-ITE and if possible IVP.”
Scoring by Quarter
NTU vs RP
1st Q: 19-18
2nd Q: 13-16 (32-34)
3rd Q: 21-11 (53-45)
4th Q: 12-15 (65-60)
Lim Yong Cheng, Justin (#26) – 20 pts
Kan Wei Huat (#8) – 11 pts
Zhen Yuhui (#8) – 20 pts
Fong Hao Seng (#15) – 17 pts
Wong Liang Hao Brian (#3), Neo Rymond (#5), Seah Chin Seng (#6), Kan Wei Huat (#8), Ronald Yip Liang Jing (#11), Darryl Kai (#13), Kidd Toh Jun Kiat (#20), Alvin Chun Wang Xuan (#23), Sim Jia Hao (#24), Lim Yong Cheng, Justin (#26), Liau Ming Shun (#27), Kwan Jian Fu (#33), Chia Zao Liang Lyon (#34), Rong Hao (#41), Tan Aik, Chia Wen Han, Chan Li Zhong, Jesse Tan Yin Xuan, Chun Wang Xuan, Tan Zhi Sen
Chew Boon Kiat, Derek (#0), Eddy Chew Jun Wei (#1), Kerk Xuan Xian (#2), Wee Zi Yuan, Bryan (#3), Prem Haran S/O B H Rajan (#5), Ng Zhi Hao (#6), Chew Hong Xiang (#7), Zhen Yuhui (#8), Tan Cheng Shan (#9), Seet Zhi Yun (#10), Mohamed Ismail (#11), Goh Jun Yung (#12), Abdul Rahman B Ali (#13), Fong Hao Seng (#15), Ang Chu Chock (#17), Jun Wen (#23), V Lavin Raj (#24), Desmond Loh Wai Kin (#32), Goh Jun Xian (#34), Tng Zhi Cai (#37), Alan Kwan Yi Hui
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