With a score of 64-30 against River Valley High School (IP), defending champs Hwa Chong remains undefeated in 'A' Division Basketball.
Much to the crowd's disappointment, the game began with a lethargic start, with both teams scoring below twenty points in the 1st quarter as Hwa Chong players found themselves struggling with under-basket shots while RV was forced into several shot-clock violations by the Hwa Chong defence.
Entering the 2nd quarter with a 10-point lead, Hwa Chong attempted to pull away quickly with a couple of good baskets but RV was determined to keep the deficit within 10 points and responded promptly with sharp shooting from #5. This quarter saw a fair share of notable plays and unexpected blunders from both camps and Hwa Chong was kept to below 30 points after 2 quarters.
Returning from the half-time break, Hwa Chong modified their defensive strategies – adopting pro-active man-on-man defense – and put great pressure on RV's guards and forwards. Victory was soon in sight as the change in defensive strategies stifled RV's shooting and quickened Hwa Chong's offensive pace.
Having warmed up sufficiently, the 2nd half saw Nicholas Tan (#6, guard) delivering a nasty block, Captain Chester Leow (#11, forward) sinking shots from both within and beyond the 3-point arc and Hong Sheng (#10, forward/centre) nailing several baskets from the paint, with timely assistance from Hock Sing (#14, forward/centre) and Subhas (#5, forward/centre). Facilitated by effective passing by the guards, Hwa Chong pulled away with great velocity, scoring nearly 20 points a quarter in the 2nd half.
Highlighted otherwise by a late-game scoring streak and a powerful block by Ee Ruey (#12, forward/centre), the 4th quarter was a one-sided affair as Hwa Chong took charge of the match and broke away effectively, winning the game eventually.
Special mention goes to Edward Ng (#15, forward) for repeatedly stopping the RV offense throughout the game with lightning-quick steals and successfully converting them into fast-break points. Edward also dominated the boards with impressive rebounding and achieved a triple-double with 12 rebounds, 10 points and 10 steals (the first by a Hwa Chong player this year!).
Loh Hong Sheng 14 points
Chester Leow 13 points
Subhas Nair 10 points
Edward Ng 12 rebounds
Heng Hock Sing 6 rebounds
Chester Leow 5 rebounds
Zhou Kai 3 assists
Chester Leow 3 assists
Loh Hong Sheng 3 assists
Having completed the 1st round of the 'A' Division basketball championship, the guys team will continue to step up their game in the 1-month training window in April before the 2nd round commences in May. Do continue to show your support for our basketball teams and look out for the girls team as they embark on their championship run in late April. 加油！