In the first quarter, NTU came out ready and aggressive as they went on a 8-0 run to have a lead against NUS. However, NUS remained calm and also had a 8-1 run of their own to gain a lead for themselves. NUS had a tower, also known as Johrathon Cheok (NUS #2) who used his height advantage over the NTU players in the post. Even with his strong presence, NTU was still able to have a 16-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, NTU continued to stay focused and kept their offense going as they took advantage of the open lanes seen in NUS’s defense and drove in whenever they could. This tactic seemed to have worked well for NTU as the big man Arno Paulus Didier Ricou (NUS #6) got into foul trouble with 4 personal fouls in only 3 minutes into the second quarter. However, Leong Kai Yuan (NUS #15) stepped up to the plate as he secured many offensive rebounds and kept the game close to a scoreline of 32-27 at halftime.
NUS came out better prepared and focused in the third quarter as they found faults in NTU’s 2-3 zone defense strategy and were able to stack up points due to the bad defense from NTU. The big man Raymond Loo (NUS #10) started to play more aggressively as he had several important steals and blocks in the passing lanes of NTU and he played a big part in the 18-11 run NUS had as they gained the lead 45-43 at the end of the third quarter.
The game was heated up, literally, as the game clock seemed to malfunction right after Ronald Yip (NTU #3) scored a tough lay-up to tie the game at 45 points apiece. Right after the issue was solved, NUS scored five points immediately. NTU started to drive in more and draw fouls against NUS bringing them into the penalty. Lyon Chia (NTU #0) started to heat up as he continued to drive in on NUS’s defense and either score the basketball or draw a foul. He even managed to get an and-one basket to give NTU a lead of 53-52. He led the game with a game-high of 19 points.
NTU continued to attack and drive in into the paint as Justin Lim (NTU #10) drew a foul on Arno (NUS #6) sending out one of NUS’s offensive threats. Justin Lim went on to score two free throws to tie the game at 55 apiece.
NUS stayed calm as Kai Yuan (NUS #15) scored a basket and even a 3 point shot from Rolu (NUS #3) gave NUS a five-point lead. This gave NUS control over the game but NTU’s spirit did not allow them to give up.Darryl Lee (NTU #30) heated up as he scored 7 points in a row including a 3 point shot to give NTU a lead.
These clutch and important plays threatened NUS as they were unable to knock down open looks at the basket. Meanwhile, NTU capitalized their free throws and open looks and eventually was crowned as the Champions!