School sports

Schools: Winners' mentality followed challenge

Presbyterian High School's Foo Yong Ming shooting during yesterday's 78-43 victory against Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road) in the Schools National C Division final.
Presbyterian High School's Foo Yong Ming shooting during yesterday's 78-43 victory against Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road) in the Schools National C Division final.PHOTO COURTESY OF SPORTYGRAPHY. COM

Presbyterian High School lift title in answer to exhortation by player who finishes as MVP

His school had never lifted the Schools National C Division basketball title, nor had they even reached the top four last year.

But Presbyterian High School's Foo Yong Ming believed that they were good enough to do so. And it bothered him that they had never fulfilled their potential.

So in December, he set his team-mates a challenge, exhorting them to go undefeated this year and lift the Schools National C Division basketball title.

Just months later, his dream became a reality as Presbyterian High beat Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road) 78-43 in the final yesterday at Republic Polytechnic.

They also remained unbeaten throughout the season, having clinched the North Zone title last month.

The point guard told The Straits Times after he bagged the Most Valuable Player of the season award: "I felt this team could make it because we are strong. I just wanted to set my goals and motivate the team to make history."

Captain and centre Kovan Toh, who stands at 1.87m, attributed the team's perfect season to Yong Ming's motivation, along with the dedication of their coach and teachers.

"We focused more on training and we didn't joke around as much as we used to. Every training session, we would try to improve," he said. "(Yong Ming) said in the holidays that he wanted us to make history for Presbyterian High. He gave us the determination to reach the final."

ACS (Barker Road) came out firing and led 10-6 halfway through the opening quarter. But their lead did not last long as Presbyterian High caught up and took the first quarter 18-10, extending their lead as the game went on.

Head coach Loh Tong, 66, was all smiles during and after the match.

He praised the boys' teamwork and said: "The boys played very well because they followed our instructions. They were excellent today."

ACS (Barker Road) captain Wesley Wong, vowed: "We will definitely come back stronger next year in the B (division). We'll train until we win the title."

In the girls' final, Singapore Chinese Girls' School (SCGS) upset defending champions Jurong Secondary School 64-44 to win their first title since 2012, much to the delight of their spirited supporters.

Margaret Suriya, captain of the SCGS team, said: "We just didn't give up and kept our determination."

Their ecstatic coach, Chiew Poh Leng, 42, who has guided the side for 13 years, said: "We were the underdogs, so I told them the pressure wasn't on them at all."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 26, 2016, with the headline 'Winners' mentality followed challenge'. Print Edition | Subscribe