SINGAPORE - Even though her Anglo-Chinese Junior College (ACJC) players were leading 25-21 at halftime of the 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 hair-dryer treatment proved effective as ACJC outscored their opponents by 14 points in the second half and eased to a comfortable 53-35 victory on Friday (May 24).
Kok, 50, said: "During the second quarter play the occasion got to them and they weren't following the game plan. They were hurrying their passes.
"But, during the break we regrouped. 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 from her girls, as the entire team - all in tears - embraced Kok after the final whistle.
ACJC captain Claudia Yip, 17, tore her quadricep muscle during the pre-season period but still continued to train and play. She reflected on how the season was a tough one for her team.
"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 people couldn't train," said the JC2 student.
"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, who were champions from 2014 to 2017, also lost to ACJC last year in the final.
Though disappointed, Raffles captain Keziah Vickraman said she was proud of her team's performance, especially against the 1.81m Syntyche.
Keziah, 18, said: "I think we put up a good fight especially in the first half of the game against their goal shooter who is clearly a head taller than us.
"We started to slip away in the second half but my teammates and I showed grit and determination. Regardless of the score there were still attempts to get it back and the championship doesn't mean everything to us, it was the process that was golden."