Benedict ensures ACS (I) defend title
Even though his team were the defending champions, he knew they would be in for a tough fight.
But that didn't stop Benedict Chan from feeding off the pressure to lead Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) to a 3-2 victory over Raffles Institution (RI) to secure their third successive title in the boys' A Division squash final yesterday at Kallang Squash Centre.
Benedict, 17, defeated Ian Liew of RI 11-1, 11-2, 11-4 in the fourth match to seal victory.
Speaking to the New Paper after his team's win, Benedict, 17, said: "We relied too much on certain players last year, so we stepped up our training.
"I've played with Ian before so we knew each other's style and that took some of the pressure off me in the decider."
ACS(I) dominated the first two games through Nishan Ravi Nekoo, 17, and Pang Ka Hoe, who both won in straight sets. They lost the third to set the stage for Benedict to do his stuff.
Speaking after the win, Nishan said: "Against Raffles it's always a tough game, but our team went in with the hunger to win again.
"That first game was crucial. It took a while for me to settle down because of the big-game nerves, but once I got settled, we knew it was in our hands."
Rayden Tan and teammate Timothy Leong were the only RI players to give the title-holders a run for their money.
Rayden saw off Ian Thong 3-0 in the third match and Timothy Leong won the dead rubber 3-0.
But Benedict stopped any chance of an RI comeback and made sure the title stayed with them for another year.
Rayden, 16, said, after the loss: "Of course I'm disappointed, but everyone in the team fought his heart out and I can't be more proud of them.
"We knew it would be a tough fight and, even when we knew the title wasn't ours, we still fought hard in the last game."