JON LEE sizzled in the fourth quarter, scoring 16 points to lead Katok Sixth Form Centre (PTE Katok) to a 75-61 victory over Laksamana College of Business (LCB) in the finals of the 2009 MD Cup yesterday at the Brunei Basketball Association (BBA) Court in Batu Bersurat.
"I just felt a rush and pushed it with all I got. I knew it wasn't over so I had to score more for my team to win," said Lee, who went on to score a game high 29 points. "I saw a lot of gaps in our opponents defence and so I just had to cut in and kept getting fouled.
Lee, 17, commented that with their unbeaten run of seven games in the tournament, he hopes they will be able to participate in more competitions in the future.
It was a seesaw battle in the fourth quarter as both exchanged leads several times in the period before Lee came up with back-to-back baskets when LCB got into the penalty halfway.
It made matters worse when LCB had two players fouled out of the game and had to play with only four players before PTE Katok ran away for the victory.
LCB were hot in the early going holding their opponents to just nine points in the first quarter and scoring at will to take a 18-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
PTE Katok were shaken but tried to fight back by staging an 8-0 run and leaving their opponents scoreless for more than four minutes before LCB got a three-pointer through their captain Hii Wen Leong to break the drought to bring the score to 21-17.
PTE Katok played with more determination by covering the baseline and breaking the inside passes but LCB kept their momentum behind Darren Wong, who finished with 21 points, to post a 28-26 lead at half time.
LCB gave PTE Katok a taste of their own medicine by going on a 7-0 run at the beginning of the third to extend their lead to 35-26 which led to PTE Katok coach, Maxim Yap, to call a timeout.
The timeout worked out as PTE Katok got their act together and held an 8-0 run to close the gap. They managed to taste the lead just before the end of the third period at 41-39.
"The players weren't on form for the first few quarters as they weren't working hard enough and playing safe to try and avoid early fouls. That was also probably due to the pressure," said the PTE Katok coach.
"The opponents were getting many fouls and we just had to pressure their guard. Once he fouled out, we knew he had the big advantage," he added.
Yap stuck to the strategy they used when they beat LCB in the first round where they had defence covering the lanes. "At the offensive end, it was the same which was to rotate the ball to the weak side but we couldn't score earlier in the game."
With the victory, Yap hopes the school will get their own hoops in the future to enable them to train regularly.
Hii, on the other hand, said the full court pressure led to their downfall. "We got scared of the full court pressure that our opponents used late in the game. We didn't expect it because it needed a lot of stamina.
"We thought the most they could do was to apply it early in the game but we predicted it wrongly," said Hii, who remains positive and happy about his team's performance throughout the tournament.
In the battle for third place, Science College (MSPSBS) defeated Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien College (SOASC) 85-70 to win the bronze medal. MSPSBS were led by Han Ming Kwang with 19 points while Ching Wei Ming contributed 31 points to lead SOASC.
The Head of the organising committee, Maktab Duli (MD) Basketball Club, Joshua Thien Nyuk Yeu, was satisfied with the successful staging of the tournament.
"The BBA saw a lot of youth players from this tournament and they are scouting to select players who can represent the country in the near future," said Thien. "Hopefully we would be granted permission once again to hold the tournament next year."
The tournament was cancelled last year due to technical reasons. The last edition of the tournament held back in 2007 saw MD 'B' defeat Sayyidina Ali Secondary School in the final.
The Brunei Times
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
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