Story by Daniel Yeo/Red Sports. Photos by Lee Jian Wei/Red Sports.
Temasek Polytechnic Sports Complex, Monday, July 16, 2018 — A high-scoring game saw Temasek Polytechnic’s (TP) balanced scoring take a 84–78 overtime victory over Republic Polytechnic (RP) in the National Youth Sports Institute Basketball League.
TP close out their season with a 3-2 win-loss record, while RP drops to 2-2.
In total, there were nine players who scored in double figures – five from TP and four from RP. Siming (TP #10) led his team with a team-high 19 points, while V Lavin Raj (RP #24) scored a game-high 21 in the loss.
The first quarter would be a battle between the two team’s leading scorers, but RP was the team which got off to the better start, as Lavin’s (RP #24) scoring in the low post fuelled their 9–1 run in the game’s first three minutes. He would score eight of his 21 points in the opening frame.
Lavin’s impact could be seen on the defensive end as well. Despite RP playing a man-to-man defence, his timely help defence deterred the TP offence from attempting to score in the paint regularly.
But the home team were not going anywhere. With Siming’s (TP #10) two treys and 10 first-quarter points, TP came roaring back to tie the game at 11–11 in the next two minutes.
After furiously trading baskets for the rest of the quarter, RP found themselves going into the second quarter with a slim 21–20 lead.
That lead did not last long, however, as Kelvin (TP #4) began the second quarter with active hands, a steal, and an uncontested fast-break. Sizing up the basket, he elevated, cocked the ball back, and slammed it through the rim for the exclamation point of the half.
Kelvin was also providing some much-needed playmaking for TP, especially by drawing double teams before kicking the ball out to an open shooter. If the double-team did not come, he put his head down, worked his way into the low post, and put the ball in the basket.
As usual, Tng Zhi Cai (RP #37) provided the playmaking for RP with his trademark flashy passing, the highlight a no-look dime to a cutting Lavin (RP #24) for an easy score under the basket.
Another difference-maker in the quarter was Shuk (TP #0) and his hot hand, draining three consecutive treys for nine of TP’s 23 points in the quarter.
Despite all that, neither team could shake the other off, and they came up at the game’s halfway mark tied at 43–43.
The next two quarters would be just as close, and although Zhi Cai (RP #37) went off for eight of his 14 points in the third quarter, RP would only lead by a mere one point heading into the fourth.
More baskets were traded, but TP found themselves down 74–76 with less than a minute to spare. They needed a bucket, and Rius (TP #22) delivered with an and-one layup which sent the TP bench wild.
The free throw would put TP up 77–76 with 32 seconds left in the game – but he missed it. Tied at 76–76, RP would fail to execute their set play coming out of a timeout, taking the game to overtime.
Throughout the first four quarters of regulation, both teams had played an intense and close-fought game. However, in overtime, a gassed RP team could not keep up that same intensity, and TP jumped on the opportunity. Going on a final 6–0 run, they sealed the game – an 84–78 win to end their NYSI League season.
TP Captain Clement (TP #21) explained how the team managed to pull themselves together in that overtime period, saying: “It was a pretty good performance, but not the best. We were able to take down RP with the help of Kelvin, our key player, who is also a member of the Singapore Basketball National Team. However, we were not alert and gave up many easy baskets. Still, it was a good game by both teams.”
Regarding their season-ending victory, he added: “This NYSI League has helped us learn and grow as a team. As there are new Year 1s joining us, we had difficulty in trying to gel. This competition has allowed us to further improve on that aspect and definitely helped us to improve as a team.”
As for RP, Captain Desmond Loh talked on what his team could add to their game: “For me, I think that our performance today was ok. The intensity was there but there were some lacking points, such as communication. There were also some points that can be improved on, such as our defence and chemistry.”
RP plays their next game at Singapore Institute of Management on July 18, with tip-off at 8:45pm.
Scoring by Quarter
TP v RP
1st Q: 20–21
2nd Q: 23–22 (43–43)
3rd Q: 14–15 (57–58)
4th Q: 19–18 (76–76)
OT: 8–2 (84–78)
Siming (#10) – 19 points
Sherman (#11) – 17 points
Christian (#94) – 13 points
Shuk (#0) – 12 points, 4 3PM
Kelvin (#4) – 11 points, 1 DNK
V Lavin Raj (#24) – 21 points
Desmond Loh Wai Kin (#32) – 20 points
Zhen Yuhui (#8) – 17 points
Tng Zhi Cai (#37) – 14 points, 4 3PM
Shuk (#0), Dinesh (#2), Kelvin (#4), Lester Lee (#4), Glen (#5), Ye Hui (#7), Willie (#8), Siming (#10), Sherman (#11), Isaiah (#12), Branson (#14), Clement (#21), Rius (#22), Jordan Lee (#23), JB (#24), Eugene (#25), Kurt (#28), Christian (#94)
Derek Chew Boon Kiat (#0), Eddy Chew Jun Wei (#1), Kerk Xuan Xian (#2), Bryan Wee Zi Yuan (#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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