Story and photos by Stefanus Ian/Red Sports

Ng Kian Hao (SIM #27) grabbing an offensive rebound while being surrounded by SMU players during the match. (Photo 1 © Stefanus Ian/Red Sports)

Ng Kian Hao (SIM #27) grabbing an offensive rebound while being surrounded by SMU players during the match. (Photo 1 © Stefanus Ian/Red Sports)

Nanyang Technological University, 2018, September 27 — Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) cruised towards their 62–43 win against Singapore Management University (SMU) in the Singapore University Games (SUniG) basketball championship match.

SIM found their shooting form early in the match and controlled the game despite SMU’s multiple attempts to catch up to them. With this third straight win, SIM sealed their spot in the Institute-Varsity-Polytechnic Games and it was clear after the match that SIM’s coach, Richard Neo, was pleased with the results.

“I could say that they are getting better each game,” said the 28-year-old, who previously played for SIM’s basketball team in the past.

“For today’s defence, I am quite happy, we kept them at 17 points in the first half, that was very good,” he added.

On top of SIM’s strong full-court press defence, it was their shooting that caught fire early on in the first quarter that really gave them their initial lead. After the closely contested opening minutes, SIM began pulling away when Hiew Zi Jie (SIM #10), drained a three-pointer to stretch their lead to 10-6.

SMU tried to reply immediately but turned the ball over in the next possession due to a traveling foul. SIM, then, wasted no time to increase their lead, scoring another three-pointer through Bryan Chong (#2) to force the boys in blue to call a timeout. SMU could not recover despite the timeout and the first quarter ended ominously 15-6 in favour of the boys in white.

In the second quarter, SMU came out guns blazing scoring five straight points to show that they are not going down without a fight as they narrowed the gap to 15-11. But SIM managed to regain their composure and stopped the run and eventually outscored their opponents in the second quarter to stretch their lead into the double digits at the end of the first half.

The second half had a false start for both teams as the lights for the court were switched off minutes after play resumed, forcing the game to be halted. SMU came out more organised after the break and managed to slowly chip away at SIM’s lead with Tan Ka Jin (#24) seven consecutive points.

SMU even managed to reduce the deficit to a single digit but they were often let down by their inside defence, which allowed too many offensive rebounds for SIM. Despite outscoring SIM by three points in the third quarter, SMU simply could not find any momentum as SIM closed out the match to bring home the victory.

SMU’s coach Dominic Lim said the mood among his boys was “solemn” after the match.

“I felt like we did our best… I can say that I’m proud of the effort, we really put up a fight, we just lost to the better team,” said the 25-year-old.

“At the end of the day, some of them are still playing next year or the year after so… we want to finish strong.”

On October 1, SIM will play against Singapore University of Technology and Design while SMU will face Singapore Institute of Technology.

Scoring by Quarter

1st Q: 15–6
2nd Q: 15–11 (30–17)
3rd Q: 14–17 (44–34)
4th Q: 18–9 (62–43)

Leading Scorers

Ng Kian Hao (#27) – 12 points
Gary Yeo Jun Yuan (#14) – 11 points

Peter Soo (#4) – 13 points
Tan Ka Jin (#24) – 11 points

SMU roster
Wilfred Tan Weisheng (#13), Peter Soo Zheng Yi (#4), Koh En Jia (#7), Bryant Tan Yi Hao (#14), Tan Ka Jin (#24), Lim Shijie, Shaun (#11), Jan Mikhael Villagracia Telan (#8), Ong Jin Jie Brandon (#25), Liew Jiin Yuan Alex (#10), Goh Ze Tian (#12), Sim Huei Min Aaron (#23), Hammond Lek Bing Liang (#1), Zhao Yu Fei (#9), Kenny Sim (#6), Wesley Teo (#5)

SIM roster
Sherman Lim Jian Hao (#36), Jasper Goh (#8), Ng Kian Hao (#27), Gary Yeo Jun Yuan (#14), Tan Baiyong (#1), Loh Youren (#5), Yap Baocheng (#25), Ng Yong Jian (#17), Bryan Chong (#2), Hiew Zi Jie (#10), Wang Liang Rong (#9), Loke Zhi Jian (#11), Mun Wai Kin (#6), Scott Driscoll (#21), Devin Tan Jun Yong (#0)

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