Late drama as Dunman clinch East Zone basketball title
Anglican High School's courageous comeback falls just short
A hush fell upon the Anglican High School (AHS) indoor sports stadium yesterday, despite the presence of some 400 spectators at the East Zone boys' B Division basketball championship match.
Dunman High School (DHS) led the home side 49-47, with just two seconds left in the final quarter, but AHS player Collin Ho was awarded two free-throws after a foul by DHS' Jonathan Goh.
A thunderous cheer filled the stadium when Collin sank the first shot, amid frustrated groans from the away section.
But, as Collin lined up to take the second shot, a teammate accidentally committed a violation by stepping into the restricted area, thereby gifting DHS a 49-48 victory, and the East Zone title.
It was a harsh defeat for the AHS boys, who had beaten the same opponents by nine points in a preliminary game just last month.
But, they made their peace.
Said AHS captain Jovan Wong, 16, after the game: "Maybe it was just meant to happen. We played our best and came up a little short - but we took away a lot from this game."
Wayward passes and misplaced shots characterised the home team's performance in the first half, with AHS trailing their opponents as much as 24-13 midway through the second period.
But Jovan and Co. found their rhythm in their third quarter to tie the match at 33-33 by the end of that period.
Said DHS coach Tan Siong Leng: "When we got the lead, we started to lapse on the defensive end, especially the rebounds. That gave (AHS) the chance to come back from the turnovers."
The nerve-wracking final quarter was a see-saw encounter, with both teams taking turns to make the basket, up till the fateful free-throw violation which sealed DHS' victory.
Although the taste of defeat was bitter, the Anglican team held their heads high.
And, while they failed to qualify for the Nationals last season, they are determined to make their presence felt at that level this year.
"We're going to take down every single team in our way. We're going to make it to the (National) finals," said Jovan.