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

Bryant Tan (SMU #14) lines up a corner three. He finished the game with three treys to tally a game-high 14 points. (Photo  © Chan Hua Zheng/Red Sports)

Bryant Tan (SMU #14) lines up a corner three. He finished the game with three treys to tally a game-high 14 points. (Photo 1 © Chan Hua Zheng/Red Sports)

Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Monday, June 25, 2018 — Everything finally clicked for Singapore Management University (SMU) as they downed Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) 65–43 for their first win in the National Youth Sports Institute Basketball League.

SMU are now 1-2 in the win-loss column after having previously lost to Republic Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic. As for NP, they are now 1-1 after edging out Singapore Institute of Management in their opening game.

The duo of Bryant Tan (SMU #14) and Mikhael (SMU #8) each scored 14 points to lead SMU, with the former sinking three treys as well. For NP, Sean Tiah (NP #10) scored a team-high nine points.

SMU got off to a great start, blitzing NP to a 14–2 run in the game’s first five minutes. With this run, SMU were able to show off their offensive rebounding and shot selection, as they picked apart the NP defence for looks from both inside and outside.

Both teams were playing with physicality, but the size and height of SMU overpowered NP. NP’s Captain, Bryan Choo (NP #37), admitted: “I can say that the SMU team is really well-balanced – they have the height, the size, their average height is around 170+.”

SMU were also playing a solid man defence – with energy, attentiveness, and communication. SMU started running away with the game after a dominant 21–6 first quarter.

NP picked it up in the second quarter, scoring under the basket with frequency and efficiency for a 15-point quarter.

SMU, however, would not let them get close, and had the whole team shooting from three-point land. Stabbing a dagger into the heart of NP would be one of SMU’s big men, Koh En Jia (SMU #6), as he found himself left open at the top of the key and drained a three.

With a break at the half, SMU came back into the third quarter with the intensity which had somewhat disappeared in the second, compiling an 18-point third quarter which helped them build their lead to 20 points.

SMU were in control, and that was emphasised with a sick buzzer-beating coast-to-coast layup by Hammond Lek (SMU #5) to end the quarter.

Being down by 20 points, NP should not have been worrying much about the score. But, in the fourth quarter, they looked hurried and frantic, taking shots early in the shot clock when they could have reset and looked for better opportunities.

Finally, the last buzzer sounded, and SMU would emphatically take their first win of the season with a 65–43 victory over NP.

Even for SMU, their performance today was a first – we asked SMU Captain Shaun Lim (SMU #11) if they played like this every game.

“Definitely not. Our team played horrible the previous two games, getting run over by RP and TP since the opening tip. But we consolidated our strengths and weaknesses after that game and realised how important it was to play for each other in the team. We created shots for each other instead of ourselves and I believe that’s how we managed to start off strong,” said Shaun.

And for NP, Captain Bryan (NP #37) knows what the team can take away from this loss.

“Definitely the physicality, the way they drive in hard on us and they break down our defence. We’re going to work on our defence and get ready for the next game against NTU,” said Bryan.

NP will host Nanyang Technological University on July 3, while SMU travels to Singapore Institute of Management for their next game on July 2. Both games will tip-off at 8:45pm.

Scoring by Quarter

1st Q: 6–21
2nd Q: 15–14 (21–35)
3rd Q: 12–18 (33–53)
4th Q: 10–12 (43–65)

Leading Scorers

Sean Tiah Min Feng (#10) – 9 points

Bryant Tan (#14) – 14 points, 3 3PM
Mikhael (#8) – 14 points

NP Roster
Daren Koay (#0), John Ang (#1), Chan Yao Yi (#2), Foo Fong Kee (#3), Victor Chua (#5), Saysay Erwin Pili (#6), Alagu Sundaram (#7), Sia Wei Hng (#8), Tan Guo Liang (#9), Tiah Min Feng Sean (#10), Tan Yong Lun (#13), Toshiro Kristen Murakami (#14), Lim Jun Jie (#15), Hsu Yao (#17), Lim Rui Min (#19), Wu Ming Ming (#21), Jon Emmanuel Abaniel (#24), Desmond Gan (#25), Lim Wang Shen (#29), Choo Jing Xian (#37)

SMU Roster
Alex Liew (#2), Peter Soo (#4), Hammond Lek (#5), Koh En Jia (#6), Mikhael (#8), Shaun Lim (#11), Bryant Tan (#14), Tan Ka Jin (#24), Brandon Ong (#25), Kenny (#26), Goh Ze Tian (#33)

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