In a close match between the two victors from yesterday’s Varsity qualifier semi-finals, Vanbrugh managed to secure a narrow win over Derwent.
The first quarter opened with Steven Aung and Alvin Tsoi both missing chances for Vanbrugh before Derwent’s Tom Gill opened the scoring, seemingly injuring himself in the process of doing so.
Tsoi then scored a spectacular three pointer to edge Vanbrugh ahead in what was a slow scoring start to the first quarter. Aung then went on to score a couple of baskets for Vanbrugh. Throughout the match, Aung was a constant threat to Derwent, making quick, darting drives at the Derwent defence, which opened up scoring opportunities for both himself and his teammates.
The two sides were neck and neck throughout the first quarter but just before the end of the quarter, Derwent’s Philip Schreiber intercepted the ball and after charging down the right side of the court, squared the ball to Gill whose subsequent basket gave Derwent a 10-8 as the first quarter drew to a close.
The second quarter opened with both Aung and Gill missing three pointers for their respective colleges in what was another a slow scoring start. The two sides remained on level terms throughout the vast majority of the quarter. Aung scored a very nice basket for Vanbrugh as he drove through the middle of court, darting between players before slotting home two points.
Despite the efforts of Aung, who was at this point the stand-out player on the pitch, Vanbrugh struggled to prevent Derwent from scoring. The Derwent players looked to contest every rebound and their persistence paid off as several baskets were made as a result of this tactic. As the half time whistle sounded, Derwent held a narrow lead over Vanbrugh, who trailed 17-14 to Derwent.
The third quarter saw Vanbrugh captain, Francis Sobowale, start to pull the strings in attack for his college. He made a basket after another good driving run from Aung before repaying the favour by launching a long pass down the court to Aung who finished well.
Shortly after, Schreiber narrowly missed a three pointer but the rebound was converted by Gill. After some patient build up play, Schreiber drove through the Vanbrugh defence and rose to claim another two points for his college.
Despite this, Sobowale racked up the points for Vanbrugh, scoring a couple of baskets, one of which was set up by an exquisite Tsoi long pass. Schreiber then scored both of his free throw efforts to reduce the points deficit between the two sides. The third quarter ended with Vanbrugh leading Derwent 32-27 and the match seemed poised for a big finish.
The fourth quarter opened with Tsoi scoring a basket after some quick build up play orchestrated by Sobowale and Hoffman Agoston. However, Schreiber clawed two points back for Derwent after a lightning run down the middle of the court before rising up and finishing well. Gill then scored a three pointer before Derwent’s Michael Wirth added to his side’s tally, scoring another basket.
At this stage, Derwent trailed by Vanbrugh by two points with just under a minute to go. However, Vanbrugh’s Evelyn Tan silenced any Derwent hopes of a grandstand finish after converting a simple chance to end the match 43-39 in Vanbrugh’s favour.
Although Derwent will feel aggrieved at the final score line, having led for long periods of the match, credit must go to Vanbrugh for staying in touch with Derwent throughout the match before eventually pulling away to win.
Derwent: Gill (C), Schreiber, Wirth, Terme, Occleston, Wu, Hock Feikens.
Vanbrugh: Aung, Sobowale (C), Tan, Sackey, Tsoi, Agoston.
Player of the Match: Steven Aung.