School sports

Schools: A long-awaited double for Raffles Institution

Raffles Institution (RI) swept the Schools National A Division boys' and girls' basketball championships.
Raffles Institution (RI) swept the Schools National A Division boys' and girls' basketball championships. PHOTO: TWITTER/@STSPORTSDESK
Raffles Institution (RI) swept the Schools National A Division boys' and girls' basketball championships.
Raffles Institution (RI) swept the Schools National A Division boys' and girls' basketball championships. PHOTO: TWITTER/@STSPORTSDESK

It took them 16 years to do it again, but Raffles Institution (RI) can now bask in glory after sweeping the Schools National A Division boys' and girls' basketball championships yesterday at Jurong East Sports Hall to complete the double.

The last time RI won both titles in one year was in 2000 and captain Justin Yeo was amazed the teams pulled it off.

"We hadn't won either title in many years so to do the double was really great," said Justin, 18.

"Honestly, it's quite unbelievable and also a huge honour to see this achievement while I'm still playing, especially since it's my last year in RI."

RI girls' assistant coach Judy Ong added: "I'm more than happy we clinched the double. It was an aim of ours before the season and it worked out.

"With Hwa Chong (Institution) (HCI) dominating the division for the past many years, the teams were determined to put in all the effort to be top and be champions."

The title triumphs did not come easy. RI faced Pioneer Junior College (PJC) in the boys' final in a match with end-to-end action. RI led from the first period onwards and were more adventurous going forward.

PJC still proved to be tough opponents for the Rafflesians as the former were quick on the break and denied RI the chance to net on many occasions. RI were forced to dig deep before beating their opponents 69-53.

The RI girls took on HCI, who had won the previous three A Division titles, and were in control throughout. RI's Charmaine Koh starred for her side and picked up the Most Valuable Player award as RI won 48-33.

Said captain Bernice Yeo, 18: "It was a fear to go up against HCI but we didn't waiver. We persevered until the end and gave each other encouragement always.

"It feels awesome to bring the title back and we're proud to be able to achieve something as a team for the school."

Rounding up the podium for the boys were Anderson Junior College in third and Nanyang Junior College behind them. Dunman High School took third spot for the girls', in front of fourth-placed Victoria Junior College.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 21, 2016, with the headline 'A long-awaited double for Raffles Institution'. Print Edition | Subscribe