Fans of basketball were treated to some of the most exciting events in recent memory over the past few days, beginning with the NBA Rising Stars Challenge on Saturday (15th February) and culminating in Law’s clash with Medicine on Monday (17th February). To mark the gravity of the match and the momentous battle between the two traditional powerhouses, the table official signaled the start of the match with a smooth touch of his iPhone screen. The game was well underway, even though the scoreboard in use was a free iPhone app that malfunctioned mostly.
The Law team, led by Captain and all-around handsome man Dillon Tan, went into the game eager to build on last year’s victory against Medicine in the same competition.Yet, Law had cause to be wary: Medicine had assembled what was described by veteran point guard Tien Wei before the game as “their best squad in years”.
Those words made sense in double-quick fashion as the Medicine team raced to an early lead behind a flurry of three-pointers from sharpshooter Lee Bing Howe. Readers of last year’s article (seriously, check it out) will recall the terror that he struck into our hearts with his Stephen Curry-esque shooting. The Medicine players proved to be worthy competition, playing stout defense and executing their offensive sets (at least according to their sideline supporters). Law responded by introducing shooters like Jerrold, Elias, Peide and Eric at various points to spread the floor and stretch the Medicine defence, but credit must be given to Medicine for doing a fine job of standing firm in the face of buckets by, among others, Darrell and David and holding their lead into the second quarter and then the half-time break.
Entering the third quarter, Law team coach Danny made the move of sending this writer onto the court for the purposes of journalistic authenticity. What better way to accurately write about a game than to experience a few minutes playing in it, right?
Anyway, as the game progressed, things turned increasingly physical, resulting in some of the Law players sustaining hard knocks and prompting exchange player/former NCAA football star David Brekke to remark, “They’re the medical team, they should do something about this!”. The humour in the statement, however, stood in stark contrast to the grim reality that towards the end of the third quarter, the Law team was still trailing Medicine.
Then, as time expired, the Medicine team captain Hoo Chee How heaved a shot from well beyond half-court towards the Law basket. Swish. That man in all likelihood will have a successful and fulfilling medical career, but he will certainly be hard-pressed to conjure up another miracle quite like this one. Anyhow, as the ball dropped through the net, the Law players’ jaws dropped. Even Lady Luck was not on our side tonight. With only one quarter — ten minutes — left, Law was now down by five. Could we pull off the comeback victory?
Captain Dillon, sensing the need, stepped up and shared some of the guiding principles that have seen him through basketball and life. Penetration! Get tight! Hard D!
The Law players, inspired by his brilliant oratory, responded positively by truly performing in the fourth quarter. A period of relentless driving and precise shooting by the thoroughly manly Tien Wei (promptly hitting 3 mid-range jumpers in a row) was soon followed by the climax, where See Tow shot, scored, and shouted “YES!”, his fist firmly clenched. That shot put Law on top for good, and from then on Law sensibly slowed down the tempo to ease out the final throes of the game.
The match eventually finished 37-30 in favour of Law, behind the composure and savvy of Tien Wei, the furious rebounding of David, Wayne, Cheng Aik and Dillon, the wily coaching by Danny, and, last but certainly not least, the gritty, energetic play of every single team member. The Law basketballers are delighted at getting the Law-Med (or Med-Law, if you’re anal like that) Games off to a fantastic start for the good guys, and thankful for the support from everyone who made the trip down to Kent Ridge to watch the game. Here’s wishing our fellow competitors the best of luck in their respective events!
NUS Law Men’s Basketball Team: (Year Ones) Darrell Lee, Elias Tiong, Wayne Chan, Jerrold Au, Lai Jian Qin, Chua Cheng Aik, Gan Wei Rong, Tay Jing En; (Year Twos) Dillon Tan, See Tow SY, Jun Jin Sei, Basil Lee, Eric Huang, Alex Chew, Huang Peide; (Year Threes) Alvin Ee, Lai Kai Bin, Tien Wei; (Old Man) David Brekke; (Coach) Danny Chua; (Rowdy Supporters) Mark Yeo, Gideon Yap (revisit Gideon’s 2013 altercation with the Medicine team here)
Tay Jing En (Year 1)