SEASAC Basketball: Dragons boys and girls both Div 2 Champions
U19A Girls Basketball
The U19 A girls basketball team went into this year’s SEASAC Division 2 tournament as a favorite to win, after being relegated from last year’s Division 1 tournament. With the incredible amount of training and effort our team has put in during the pre-season and throughout the pre-season, we were nervous and excited to show our skills as a team. We started off the tournament playing our own B team, which was a good game to kick-start the tournament. Coming out of a 51-8 win gave the whole team a nice boost of confidence as we went into the rest of our round robin games. Later in the first day, we continued to be undefeated as we beat BSJ and KLASS 43-10 and 38-16, respectively. The second day of SEASAC, we found to be a lot more challenging as we were going to have our final two round robin games that would determine whether we get a spot in the semi-finals. The first game of the morning was also against one of the strongest teams of the tournament, ISY, and we knew we had to beat them in order to prove that we were the best team. We later went on to defeating them 42-28 and MKIS 29-17 in our final round robin game. Being undefeated so far, we went into the semi-finals in the top seed and going up against MKIS. Despite being sore and tired from the 5 games we’ve played, we continued to defeat MKIS in the semis, 45-19. This was a great position for us to be in as we entered the last day of competition and into the finals against ISY. Although we had beaten them once before, we knew that they would come out firing as they wanted the title as badly as we did. After a slow start, we finally found our rhythm in the second half and ended up clinching a 37-20 win. With a gold medal as well as a promotion to the division 1 tournament next year, our team truly proved that we have the skill and abilities to be a great team.
U19A Boys Basketball: SEASAC and season review
At the start of the season, the U19 A team was full of potential; players possessed extreme athleticism, exceptional skills, and a passion for the game. However, the concept of ‘team’ didn’t resonate immediately. We played more as individuals rather than a single unit and it was evident through first couple games. But that soon changed when Coach Duff Douglas integrated the ‘read-and-react’ offense that soon became the basis of our offensive strategy. Coach Duff’s rules and methods are simple. All the players quickly learned that he was not there to do mediocre things. He’ll show you how playing smart basketball will beat teams. As players, we all earn minutes by showing effort in practice. As a result, we quickly bought into the system and started to look more like a team. With our speed, we could tire teams out if we use it to our advantage, so Coach Duff implemented a defensive strategy featuring Star Wars themed presses: Vader, Akhbar, and Solo. This was reflected in our first few games in the Men’s League, where we ran our press to near perfection but their strength outweighed our speed, causing us to lose often. Although it was difficult to win games in the Men’s League, we saw this as an opportunity to strengthen our offense and defense, and molded us to the team we envisioned ourselves to be.
As the season progressed, our offense and defense started to feel second nature; players were getting to the right positions, passing and cutting, and trusted the defense. We proved ourselves as a worthy Singapore basketball team during our school’s friendship tournament, knocking out the local teams, and facing a ferocious team from Bangkok in the finals. But unfortunately, we fell short to the Bangkok team. It only made us reflect deeply about our mistakes, so we focused on honing them in practices prior to SEASAC. We entered the 2016 SEASAC tournament with a 4-1 record and a 3 game winning streak in the ACSIS League, and owning the first seed in the ACSIS Division 1. We were all filled with excitement and each one of us had the strong desire to compete. On Day 1 of the tournament, we made an instant impact by blowing out teams by 30 points, remaining undefeated in the tournament and winning the SEASAC Div II title. But despite our best efforts in SEASAC, we could not clinch the ACSIS title, losing in a tight game against the evenly-matched Dover. As a team, we truly believed that we had a successful season, filled with more achievements than any East Basketball team in history. With that said, we believe that East Basketball is on the rise.