School sports

Emotional win for ACJC

Pep talk by coach spurs players as they beat RI to retain A Div title

Even though her Anglo-Chinese Junior College (ACJC) team were leading 25-21 at half-time of the Schools National A Division netball final, coach Kok Mun Wai was a picture of fury during the break.

Her voice echoing through the Jurong East Sports Hall, she castigated the defending champions for their sloppy play against Raffles Institution (RI).

The hairdryer treatment proved effective as ACJC outscored their opponents by 14 points in the second half and eased to a comfortable 53-35 win yesterday.

Kok, 50, said: "During the second quarter, the occasion got to them and they weren't following the game plan. They were hurrying their passes.

"During the break, I told them to refocus and remember what we're supposed to do. I also asked them if this is how they want to play their final game and after that things got better."

There were no hard feelings as the entire team, all in tears, embraced Kok after the final whistle.

ACJC captain Claudia Yip, 17, tore her quadriceps during the pre-season period, but still continued to train and play.

Reflecting on a tough season, the JC2 student said: "It was a very well-deserved win because we really went through a lot as a team. Before and even during the season, we had a lot of injuries and many couldn't train.


Anglo-Chinese Junior College's goal-shooter Syntyche Yeo taking a shot while guarded by Raffles Institution captain Keziah Vickraman in the A Division netball final at Jurong East Sports Hall yesterday. Syntyche scored 49 of her team's 53 points. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

TEAM CAMARADERIE

It was a very well-deserved win because we really went through a lot as a team.

CLAUDIA YIP, Anglo-Chinese Junior College's netball captain.

"But we never gave up. We all still continued going for training despite our injuries and making it all the way here is very emotional for us."

Goal-shooter Syntyche Yeo, 17, scored 49 points in the final but paid tribute to her ACJC teammates. She said: "Despite the injuries, we all depended on each other, bore with the pain and just pushed through all the way to the final game."

Raffles, champions from 2014 to 2017, also lost to ACJC in last year's final. Though disappointed, captain Keziah Vickraman said she was proud of her team's performance, especially against the 1.81m Syntyche.

Keziah, 18, said: "We put up a good fight, especially in the first half against their goal-shooter, who is clearly a head taller. Regardless of the score, there were still attempts to get it back. The championship doesn't mean everything to us, it was the process that was golden."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2019, with the headline 'Emotional win for ACJC'. Print Edition | Subscribe