Story and photos by Zachary Foo/Red Sports.
Singapore Basketball Centre, Friday, May 10, 2019 — Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) shook off a plucky Anderson Serangoon Junior College (ASRJC) to edge out 47–45 winners in the quarter-finals of the National A Division Girls Basketball Championship.
Amanda Tang (ASRJC #5) led all scorers with 20 points, while backed up by Andrea Seow (ASRJC #17), who contributed eight points. On the other hand, Qun Fang (HCI #42) paced her team with 19 points in a winning effort, including two free throws to seal the game.
On paper, this seemingly looked like a mismatch, but ASRJC came out strong in the first quarter. They matched HCI point for point up until the six-minute mark, when HCI’s defence started to clamp down in the paint. Shiyun (HCI #5) and Li Qi (HCI #9) combined for three 3-pointers to give HCI a nine-point lead going into the second quarter.
ASRJC responded back in the second quarter, starting off on a 5–0 run to trim the lead. HCI went on a scoring drought for four minutes. They attempted to establish post position by playing the ball in to Qun Fang (HCI #42) and use her height advantage. However, she was constantly doubled or even triple-teamed in the post and was prevented from scoring. This allowed ASRJC to trim the lead to three going into the third quarter.
Both teams showed some signs of fatigue in the third quarter, as they struggled to scre early on. Qun Fang (HCI #42) started to score more down low, as HCI managed to get her in one-on-one situations in the post against an ASRJC defender. This allowed HCI to stretch the lead to 12 at one point in the quarter. Nonetheless, Andrea Seow (ASRJC #17) managed to sink a 3-pointer at the buzzer to reduce the lead to nine going into the final quarter.
The final quarter was a tense affair, as ASRJC found their groove on offence. Teo Wanyu (ASRJC #9) was particularly effective in scoring this period, helping ASRJC clinch the lead at 45–44 after making two free throws. Li Qi (HCI #9) proved to be a clutch performer for her team, making a steal and drawing a clear path foul from ASRJC. She sank one free throw to tie the game at 45-all. Qun Fang (HCI #42) then went to the line with about six seconds left in the game. She held her nerve to sink both free throws and HCI managed to stifle ASRJC on the final possession to clinch the game.
“We started off very well but we let them back in as the game progressed. Our hunger to fight for our spot in the semi-finals helped us to win this game,” said HCI captain Li Qi (HCI #9).
The win means HCI is now joint-third in Group Z with six points, while ASRJC are bottom with four points. HCI will next play Nanyang Junior College in their final game, while ASRJC will face Victoria Junior College in their final game.
Scoring by Quarter
ASRJC v HCI
1st Quarter: 4–13
2nd Quarter: 15–9 (19–22)
3rd Quarter: 6–12 (25–34)
4th Quarter: 20–13 (45–47)
Amanda Tang (#5) – 20 points
Andrea Seow (#17) – 8 points
Qun Fang (#42) – 19 points
Silin (#14) – 7 points
Ivon (#8) – 7 points
Teo Fang Ning (#2), Chloe Lim (#4), Amanda Tang (#5), Chelsea Ng (#7), Teo Wanyu (#9), Audrey Ong (#10), Jennifer Chue (#12), Kayzel Jip (#13), Andrea Seow (#17), Junnie Karni (#19), Chloe Chang (#23), Viwyn Tan (#32)
Esther (#0), Erinn (#4), Shiyun (#5), Ivon (#8), Li Qi (#9), See Neng (#10), Ning Xuan (#11), Wing Xuan (#13), Silin (#14), Jade (#18), Jia Hui (#41), Qun Fang (#42)
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