The basketball community all across the globe were still devastated after the passing of LA Lakers Legend, Kobe Bryant. In honour of the number 24 jersey Kobe donned during the second half of his career, SIM took a 24-second shot clock violation. This was followed by an 8-second shot clock violation taken by NTU to pay tribute to the number Kobe started his career with.
NTU got the ball rolling after scoring the first basket of the game. Both teams were putting up shots early on in the game and had a high conversion rate. #24 John Ng’s and #39 Jia Rong’s partnership proved to be a difficult one to stop. #7 Xing Yuan hit a 3 pointer from the corner to put SIM ahead 13-12. This sparked a 9-0 run for SIM as they ended the quarter strong with a 7 point lead.
SIM continued their run while NTU were struggling to score a single basket. #24 John Ng was wide open and took a 3 point shot from way beyond the arc. After a lucky bounce, he scored the basket and extended the run to 15-0. SIM were pulling away and forced NTU to call a timeout to reorganise. Despite NTU’s effort to cut the deficit, SIM always had an answer and were pulling the lead away. SIM went into the locker room with a comfortable lead. (43-27)
#24 John Ng started the second half with a strong finish at the rim and drew a foul. He completed the three-point play. Turnovers were a huge problem from NTU and #7 Xing Xuan capitalised and finished with a euro-step. NTU was forced to call an early timeout as they were trailing by 23 points with 8 minutes left on the clock. NTU managed to cut the deficit to 16 points at the end of the third quarter.
Both teams started the final quarter strong and NTU were doing all they can to take the lead. However, they were unable to stop the dominant force of SIM. A turnover from NTU gave #27 Kian Hao the opportunity to advance for the fastbreak. He converted the lay-up easily and NTU called for a timeout in attempt to stop SIM from extending their lead. With a minute left to play, SIM were still up by 16. They went scoreless for almost 3 minutes but NTU were still unable to take advantage. SIM secured the win and were the IVP Champions of 2020.
The final score was 58-71.