JUMPSHOT Suffers Setback with Loss to Min Chong

Team JUMPSHOT entered its third game of the young Women’s National Basketball Championship season facing its sternest test yet, going up against the always-impressive Singapore Min Chong Sports Club and its starlet, Hannah Ng. However, the girls certainly did not work this hard just to be mediocre, and their confidence shone through even in the warm-ups as the entire team went through their preparatory routines with crisp, sharp movements. Early on, the match went exactly to plan, as Team JUMPSHOT’s defense stymied the offensive flow of Min Chong, going up 20-10 after just seven minutes of play. Some sloppiness late in the opening period was punished, however, by a 6-0 run led by Hannah that cut the lead to just four points. Instead of caving in to the pressure, JUMPSHOT redoubled its efforts, especially on the defensive end, and put in an outstanding second quarter that saw them push the lead to 34-18. The quartet of Seet Hui Qin, Cheong Huiling, Wong Xiu Hui and Lee Xinying piled on the pressure, resulting in turnover after turnover from Min Chong and more than a few transition baskets. Although Min Chong put up a tough fight in clawing their way back, Team JUMPSHOT still held a solid 40-29 lead at the half. In the second half, though, both teams showed some signs of fatigue as a period of poor play ensued, featuring careless passing and unforced turnovers from each team. Min Chong came out on top in more than their fair share of loose ball situations, as they closed the gap to eight points, and then just three at 45-42, as they dug their way back into the game. The first sign of real trouble came when Cheryl Chan had to come out of the game with an injury, as the team appeared to sorely miss her inside presence. Eileen Lim then fouled out of the game, and before long, Min Chong had tied the game at 51 apiece early in the fourth quarter, behind some strong all-around play from Hannah. The lead then swung back and forth between the two sides, but when Cheryl fouled out as well after returning from injury, the game slowly slid out of JUMPSHOT’s lead despite the valiant efforts of the undersized players. The game ended in a 69-63 defeat for Team JUMPSHOT, who suffered their first loss of the season. Coach Esther expressed disappointment at the loss but also maintained that she was proud of her team for fighting so hard and coming so far, and that they would stand to gain from learning how to play under pressure situations. Indeed, it is no mean feat for a new team to come so far and play this well against quality opponents and were it not for the all-around brilliance of Hannah, the result would likely have been very different. Coach Esther believes in the quality and ability of her squad, and she believes that they will only get stronger through this setback, and every one at JUMPSHOT believes that too. Team JUMPSHOT believes in their dreams, and they believe in the power of their hard work to help them get there. "The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."

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