Following their first 2 outstanding performances against Myanmar and then Vietnam. Team Singapore would play Cambodia last night at the OCBC arena in what would be their closest fight so far.
Singapore started especially well in the first quarter stringing together plays and managing 31 points. Cambodia were not too far off with no. 11 PEK Mith who was giving the Singapore defense a run for their money driving to rim, drawing foul shots and converting shots. Singapore’s Russel Low, the center found himself in foul trouble early despite being a part of some 3 point plays. Stepping in for him was Delvin Goh who managed to settle well into the game.
Singapore managed to control the game well with Captain Desmond Oh and Larry Liew commanding the game as they facilitated play with precision. Each pass dissected the defense which allowed the team to run their offense with relative ease in quarters 2 and 3. Notably team Singapore’s field goal percentage was an average of 55% vs Cambodia’s 31%. Singapore’s ability to convert is no surprise as you study the score sheet, you can observe that the bench also played their part in contributing to the score.
In the end, the Cambodian team just fell short of being able to push Singapore despite taking the final quarter 10 to 18. We take away 3 things that Singapore have done especially well up to thus far.
First it was good defense. Being able to hold an opponent to a shooting percentage of 30 over percent field goal percentage is forcing them to take shots while managing foul trouble.
Second, going inside and then outside. With Desmond and Larry facilitating plays, it was no surprise to see the likes of Russel, Hanbin, Qingde converting their shots. Singapore maintains the unpredictability of taking shots both inside and outside. This will be tested in later games especially stronger opponents.
Lastly, Rebounds. Outscoring Cambodia in terms of rebounds was also key in the victory because it translated to possession. Keeping it though was another thing as Singapore must look to keep those turnover numbers down by reducing loose passes leading to interceptions.
We managed to speak to team captain Desmond Oh and Larry Liew for a post-match interview. This is what they had to say.
POPCulture Online: Congratulations to you on your team on the win today. Good use of possession and conversion rates. What was the strategy going into today’s game?
Desmond: Coach wanted us to stick to our plays, run them according to plan. We also needed to play good defense.
POPCulture Online: 3 Wins from 3 matches now. Confidence must be running high in the team. What is the secret for this success thus far?
Desmond and Larry: Play as a team, play our best, go all out. Communication and teamwork is key for us running set plays.
POPCulture Online: How far do you think Singapore will go this time in this Sea Games competition? What do think is required to achieve that.
Desmond and Larry: We are currently aiming for the top 3 spots at the moment. We’ll have to see how the other games turn out.
POPCulture Online: Who are your toughest opponents in this competition?
Desmond and Larry: The Philippines are a strong contender and a powerhouse in this competition.
POPCulture Online: We are looking forward to see Team Singapore against the Philippines as well. We wish you all the best going forward, congratulations on tonight’s win.
We at the POPCulture Online will continue to watch Singapore basketball with keen interest and hope that they make it all the way and win themselves the gold this year. Tonight was a good win and hopefully the Men’s Singapore team can take it all the way. The Singapore fans and POPCulture Online will be supporting you all the way.
Check out our photo gallery for more photos from the game.
Photos by Kenneth Wong
By Kenneth Choong
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