Brandon the star as Anglican fights back
Shooting guard Brandon stars in comeback win over last year's nationals runners-up Dunman
The odds were stacked against the Anglican High School boys' B division basketballers.
Not only were they up against last year's national runners-up, Dunman Secondary School, they also found themselves trailing 53-47 with just one quarter of the National School Games east zone semi-final match left.
Then the fightback began.
Anglican found their groove, and overturned the deficit to beat Dunman 71-67 on home turf yesterday to book a spot in the final.
Among the boys in white, shooting guard Brandon Koh proved to be the most influential player with an excellent performance marked by his 10 points in the game.
When the hosts most needed a boost, Brandon, 16, delivered in the final minutes by sinking the three-pointer that put Anglican in the lead.
From then on, they never looked back.
Brandon said: "This is my last year in Anglican, so I wanted to make it count.
"Yesterday, we had to win, it was do-or-die, and we already had one loss against Chung Cheng High (Main).
This is my last year in Anglican, so I wanted to make it count.Anglican High School shooting guard Brandon Koh
"We started out quite slowly and missed some shots. It was a very close game.
"It got kind of scary in the fourth quarter when there were two minutes left and we started to miss a lot of our open shots.
"Then we stepped up our game and made our shots count, we started that run from a three-pointer that rebounded from the backboard.
"That was when the whole team found the rhythm and, from there, we never looked back."
Little separated the two teams in the early exchanges, as Anglican took a slender 17-16 lead at the end of the first period.
But, gradually, Dunman began to gain the upper hand, with 15-year-old point-guard Liam Israel, who finished the match with 10 points, looking particularly impressive for the visitors.
When the third quarter finished at 53-47 in Dunman's favour, the 80-strong home supporters feared the worst.
However, Anglican refused to give up, and were eventually rewarded for their spirited display.
For the losing side, though, it was not all doom and gloom.
Liam feels that the lessons learnt in this defeat will put them in good stead in the nationals.
He said: "We have quite a new team, most of my teammates are 15 this year, which means this is our first time representing the school in the B division.
"We made a lot of careless mistakes on court but, hopefully, we'll do a better round in the nationals, even if we don't get to come out as champions for the zone again.
"Even our teacher-in-charge, Danny Wong, said he was pleased and our performance today exceeded his expectations."
Anglican High School will play in Thursday's final against Dunman High School, who defeated Chung Cheng High School (Main) 69-64 in the other semi-final yesterday.