Story by Daniel Yeo/Red Sports. Photos by Chan Hua Zheng/Red Sports.

Ng Jie Yi (NP #1) drives by her defender. She finished with a game-high 13 points in the victory. (Photo  © Chan Hua Zheng/Red Sports)

Valentia Wong (NP #1) drives by her defender. She finished with a game-high 13 points in the victory. (Photo 1 © Chan Hua Zheng/Red Sports)

Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Monday, June 25, 2018 — Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) put the clamps on a struggling Singapore Management University (SMU) team for a 58–27 win in the National Youth Sports Institute Basketball League.

NP now hold a win-loss record of 1-1 after having taken a loss to Singapore Institute of Management in their opener. SMU, on the other hand, now hold a win-loss record of 0-3 after taking losses to Republic Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic.

Leading NP were the trio of Ng Jie Yi (NP #1), Valentia Wong (NP #13), and Amelia Wong (NP #2), who scored 13, 11 and 10 respectively. As for SMU, Co-Captain Lim Jie En (SMU #13) was their highest scorer with a team-high seven points.

The tone of the game would be set in the first quarter with the defensive efforts from either team – or in this case, the difference in defensive effort.

From the get-go, NP’s defensive scheme was a well-practiced full-court man press. With good communication and attentiveness, NP was able to easily jump passing lanes, rack up some steals, and score easy buckets in transition.

In contrast, SMU was playing a 1-2-2 zone defence in the half-court set, and although it prevented many a NP score, they hardly got to showcase it. SMU were constantly forced into playing under-manned transition defence as they found themselves turning the ball over to the NP defence often.

This was where NP excelled, and in transition, they were able to pull down second and third opportunities off offensive rebounds even if they failed to score on their first attempts. After a one-sided 15–6 quarter, NP began to run away with the game.

Into the second quarter, and not much had changed. SMU was not passing the ball well and the long arms of the NP defence kept harassing the SMU ball-handlers, even forcing an eight-second violation and a shot clock violation.

The third quarter saw more of the same, as NP clamped down SMU for a measly five points in the quarter, while scoring another 15 of their own.

Thankfully, for SMU, NP decided to change up their defensive scheme in the final quarter, playing a 2-3 zone instead. This allowed them to break double-digit points in a quarter for the first time in the game, but not without a fight.

SMU’s attempts to feed the ball inside to their bigs were repeatedly denied by an effective NP defence, and on the other side of the ball, NP were making strategic plays both on the ball and off the ball to score in the restricted area.

After another 15-point quarter, NP finally ended the game up by 31 with a 58–27 victory.

After NP took a loss in their season opener, Captain Leong Le Yi (NP #4) told us they would work on their defence and rebounding. They definitely did that today, and she knows that: “Our defence was better, we had more steals today. However, when we suddenly changed defence to a full-court zone in the last quarter, a few of us were confused so it wasn’t as good as the previous three quarters.”

Whereas for SMU, Co-Captains Lui Si Xuan (SMU #11) and Lim Jie En (SMU #13) knows what went wrong for them today: “Actually I think our defence was okay, but it’s just that our attack needs more work…because most of our players are very new, so the aggression really isn’t there. So, a lot of times, we end up losing the ball to the opponents’ team just because we can’t protect the ball properly or we have no confidence to bring the ball up and attack…So that’s what we need to work on.”

SMU will play their next game away against Singapore Institute of Management on July 2, while NP plays Nanyang Technological University on July 3. Both games will tip-off at 7:30pm.

Scoring by Quarter

1st Q: 15–6
2nd Q: 13–4 (28–10)
3rd Q: 15–5 (43–15)
4th Q: 15–12 (58–27)

Leading Scorers

Valentia Wong Shuting (#1) – 13 points
Lim Xiang Xuan (#13) – 11 points
Ng Jie Yi (#2) – 10 points

Lim Jie En (#13) – 7 points

NP Roster
Claire Ong Yu Yuan (#0), Valentia Wong Shuting (#1), Ng Jie Yi (#2), Joey Ong Ying Qi (#3), Leong Le Yi (#5), Tricia Yeo (#6), Amelia Wong Ke Xing (#7), Lim Yin Yan (#8), Preeyanan Tulawasincharoen Sunny (#9), Toh Yi Xuan Janae (#10), Loke Yun Ling (#12), Lim Xiang Xuan (#13), Lim Jing Yi Videl (#14), Tan Lydia (#15), Shayna Chia Enli (#18), Tan Hwee San Cheryl (#20)

SMU Roster
Sophia Ang (#3), Sara Tan Yan Wen (#5), Tan Zhao (#7), Lui Si Xuan (#11), Belinda Tho Shu Ting (#12), Lim Jie En (#13), Ong Jia Hui (#18), Deborah Tan Rui Yan (#22), Centaine Alexandra Zuleika Perera (#23), Ivy Kong Ching Yee (#25), Tan Hui Si (#27)

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