Story by Daniel Yeo/Red Sports. Photos by Stefanus Ian/Red Sports.

Chua Mei Ling (SP #30) attempting afloater during the POL-ITE match between SP and ITE. (Photo 1 © Stefanus Ian/Red Sports)

Chua Mei Ling (SP #30) attempting a floater during the POL-ITE match between SP and ITE. (Photo 1 © Stefanus Ian/Red Sports)

Temasek Polytechnic Sports Complex, Wednesday, October 24, 2018 — With a final 57–53 win over Institute of Technological Education (ITE), Singapore Polytechnic (SP) successfully defended their Polytechnic-ITE (POL-ITE) Basketball Women’s title.

SP were led by the speedy Jayne Chan (SP #3), who scored 15 points along with four treys, along with sharpshooter Chua Mei Ling (SP #30), who also made three from long range for a total of 11 points.

As for ITE, Captain Nabilah Binte Alfian (ITE #11) slashed to the rim for a game-high 18 points while teammate Ng Yong Yi (ITE #17) imposed herself inside for 11 of her own.

Although SP had secured the title prior to the game, they seemed determined to set the tone in the game’s opening minutes with some aggressive man defence, especially on the interior. Many a time, ITE found their entry passes being poked away with the resulting fast-break usually ending up with transition points for SP.

Fleet-footed Jayne Chan (SP #3), in particular, was pushing the tempo, racing down the floor and finding her teammates for plenty of scores.

However, ITE Captain Nabilah Binte Alfian (ITE #11) seemed determined to keep her team in the game, going on a tear for nine of the team’s first 18 points.

By the time the quarter ended, ITE found themselves down by a mere four points, with the score-line at 18–22.

The next quarter would be a lower-scoring one, and for good reason – both teams took the opportunity to show off their defences to shut each other down.

SP, especially, began the quarter with a half-court man press, and didn’t let up till half-time. Both teams scored the majority of their points off the fast-break, and at the halfway mark of the game, the gap remained at four with SP up 35–31.

As the third quarter commenced, SP seemed to be in trouble – their offence was not clicking, and ITE’s two key players were starting to give the team some momentum. ITE’s big Ng Yong Yi (ITE #17) was feasting on the offensive boards, and Nabilah (ITE #11) was penetrating into the paint for some pretty dump-off passes.

And in response, Jayne Chan (SP #3) came out firing. The sophomore guard found her shooting touch and went off for eight points – all of SP’s points in the quarter – sinking two treys in the process and keeping SP in the lead 43–37.

In a final attempt to surge into the lead, ITE stepped up their defence in the half-court set and used their active hands to break up any entry passes inside.

Their transition defence, though, left much to be desired – defensive miscommunications left cutters and shooters open for SP on multiple occasions, but luckily for ITE, their opponents could not convert.

A frenzied final few minutes saw both teams committing plenty of unnecessary turnovers, but as the clock reached triple zeroes, SP was dribbling out the clock to secure both the game, 57–53, and the POL-ITE championship.

“The team feels great…we just came together this season. We really tried to encourage and support each other every game, and it feels satisfying to win, because we worked for it together as a team…It was a rough season, ups and downs, but it feels good,” SP Captain Tiana (#35) said with a smile.

“We had some individual setbacks, but we really came together to support each other and be there for one another, and really just kept on encouraging each other and telling each other not to give up…we really tried to make sure that whenever we were on court, no matter how long, we really just gave our all.”

As for ITE, they finished fourth – but Captain Nabilah (ITE #11) was still proud of her team.

“I think, despite being in different colleges, we still have the team spirit. The communication might not be there, but we still fight as a team,” she said.

Next up – the Institute-Varsity-Polytechnic (IVP) Basketball Championship. SP, who placed fourth in IVP last year, will celebrate their win, but know they need to get right back to work.

“Big celebration, for now – just a good experience and a good season, it allows us to figure out what we need to work on for IVP, so we can’t rest yet. We’ll come back, train, and prepare for IVP,” said Tiana.

Scoring by Quarter

1st Q: 18–22
2nd Q: 13–13 (31–35)
3rd Q: 6–8 (37–43)
4th Q: 16–14 (53–57)

Leading Scorers

Nabilah Binte Alfian (#11) – 18 points
Ng Yong Yi (#17) – 15 points

Jayne Chan Jing Yi (#3) – 15 points, 4 3PM
Chua Mei Ling (#30) – 11 points, 3 3PM

ITE Roster
Lorraine Lee Ai Ning (#4), Germaine Aw (#7), Nur Khardiyanty Bte Kamarudin (#8), Mariah Lek Yan Geok (#9), Trinity Pang Xin Yi (#10), Nabilah Binte Alfian (#11), Nuradilah Binte Norazhar (#12), Beverly Tan Qi Wen (#13), Gan Pei Ling (#14), Lee Yoke Leng Julietta (#15), Sim Si Min (#16), Maria Andrea (#16), Ng Yong Yi (#17), Nurul Ameerah Tunessa (#19), Koh Hui Ling (#77)

SP Roster
Tan Hui Xuan (#0), Kau Wen Qi (#1), Jayne Chan Jing Yi (#3), Nur Diyana Bte Azmi (#7), Leo Swee Tze (#9), Ng Luo Fei (#10), Han Xing Yue (#11), Loh Li Ying (#12), Chang Yoke Suan Jamie (#13), Casey Perdido Baguilat (#14), Amanda Phua Jing Xuan (#17), May Lim Jia Jia (#19), Syahidah Binte Mohd Hashim (#25), Chua Mei Ling (#30), Tiana Ng (#35)

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