90 seconds left on the clock.”Prrrrrr…..Time out!!!”We were trailing by 6 points. The players came back to the bench.The team had not been shooting well today.A lot baskets that were meant to go in didn’t go.Adrian was still having the fire in his eyes.Justin’s ankle is hurt.Lim was limping.Our center was running a fever.If they really manage to pull it off,it would be the greatest win so for the team.I called the timeout.30 seconds was all I have to douse the fire in Adrian,tend to the walking wounded and discuss the next play.Should I substitute any of them for a 3 point shooter,like me?Justin and Teng Hong were the tall guys,strong in rebounding.Lim was solid in defending.Adrian,though with the fire raging within him,was the scorer for the day.TJ was the man to go to break their D.Where should I come in?It was 5 of them who push the Goliath to the limit.It was 5 of them who manage to get within 6 points.They had done well so far.Why can’t they go further?6 points is a very small gap in basketball.Objectivity ruled.I stayed on the bench.
“Prrr…!!!” The M2/03 basketball team went back into the battlefield against the M2/02 giants.Our possession.Adrian brought the ball upcourt.Time running short.The bench was silent.We were hoping for a miracle.Adrian passed the ball to TJ.TJ did his trademark double cross-over dribble.Adrian went through the back door,coming off a not so perfect double screen by Teng Hong and Justin.Adrian got the ball from TJ at high post.He pulled up and got the shot off.The ball moved gracefully over the defender’s hand.The arc was not perfect.It hit the basket with a thud,yet it went in.4 points gap with more than a minute to play.Miracle was a possiblity now.The M2/02 team tried to compose themselves.Both the teams traded sucessful basket on their next possession.
30 second…..The point guard of the M2/02 brought the ball upcourt.
29 …..The 02 tried to hold onto the ball to play down the clock it seemed.
28 …..TJ was on the ballhandler at the left side of the court
27 …..26…..25….The M2/03 team was trying hard to get the ball back…
20 …..19…..Got the ball to Tsue Seng at the centre mid post.He got his shot off with Teng Hong’s hand just in front of him.The ball forced its way through the air towards the basket.The shot was off.
18 …..17…..The ball rattled off the right side of the rim back into the air
16 …..Lim got good footing on Ming Yao
15 …..Lim jumped for the rebound with shearing pain in his right thigh.Ming Yao challenged him for the rebound.Lim got the ball in his right palm.The rebound looked good to be his.Elation could be felt…..
With sheer physical force a pair of strong leg,with Lim having a palm on the ball in the air,Ming Yao leapt and tipped the ball off Lim’s hand.
14 …..Lim leapt again to regain the ball.So did Ming Yao.Straining every bone and sinew in him,Lim tried to match Ming Yao.However,brute strength,not technique ruled this battle.Ming Yao got the ball off Lim.
13 …..With Ming Yao having the ball at the low post,Adrian closed down on him for a double team.
12 …..Ming Yao muscled his way through Adrian and leapt to get his shot off
11 …..Lim,always a fighter to the end,barring pain in his right thigh leapt,in a fruitless attempt to block his shot.He just couldn’t match Ming Yao’s height and jump.
10 …..Ming Yao seemed to be distracted by Lim and missed his shot
9 …..Justin with the rebound.He quickly got the ball to TJ at the centre court.
8 …..TJ dribbled quickly upcourt skinning two defenders on his way
7 …..Adrian sprinted down the right flank with Justin following on the left
6 …..The defenders are back in their court switchin to man to man D to put pressure on the shooter.Adrian was trying hard to ward off his marker.
5 …..TJ tried hard to get the ball to Adrian but his marker was relentless in making sure Adrian didn’t get the ball.Justin ran off a screen by Lim through the backdoor to the left side of the court just beyond the arc.
4 …..TJ spotted him and quickly got the ball to Justin.
3 …..Justin got his shot off before the defender can close down on him.
2 …..The shot was too long,hitting the inside of the rim…
1 …..back into the air and downwards
0 …..into Tsue Seng’s hand.
Final score 41-37.We had fallen at the final hurdle…..
*Most of it are fictitious*