|24 January 2013. RADS – Cagers Series.
This morning saw the tip-off of the maiden basketball games series between RADS and Cagers, teams representing former players from SDAR and MCKK. It is a best of 5 games series of friendly basketball between the two teams.
This is the second time the team met head to head; RADS came up tops during the 2012 PHT Alumni games against Cagers with a comfortable 48 -32 score.
Today was different. The intensity was much higher and the teams, while they understand that it was a friendly affair, were not about to let either one off easily. Players were playing to win. And in order to give the ‘win’ legitimacy, we got proper referees and officials for the game. A win in the game would be undisputed and absolute.
The teams were so evenly matched that it made the game one of the best basketball games I have played. Cagers took an early lead but RADS tried to keep Cagers within striking distance. The margin ranged from 5 points to 9 points and Cagers ended the first quarter in the lead.
To give you a feel of how tough the game was and how tight was the defense, the first quarter (we played NBA style 4 quarters of 12 minutes normal stops) ended with only 3 points to RADS and 9 to Cagers. It was a very intense quarter indeed.
Second quarter saw RADS holding off the onslaught from Cagers; RADS managed to outscore Cagers 14 -13 in the second quarter but that was only enough to cut Cager’s led by one point to 5 points difference.
The same story happened in the third quarter with RADS outscoring Cagers 20 – 19, cutting Cager’s lead down further to 4 points.
The fourth quarter was do or die for RADS. Cagers were playing tough but RADS knew that they were as tired as them. RADS huddled and decided to go for the push. About the 10th minute mark, RADS got their break and pulled into the lead! Not much, only between 3 to 5 points.
And with 24 seconds to go, the score was 56 – 53. Sabon went for the basket and got fouled; If he made the shots, RADS would be in a safer zone. Both shots did not drop and Cagers got the rebound. A quick drive saw Cagers no. 10 scored two points to turn it into a one point game, 56-55. Cagers, seeing a momentary loss of focus by RADS, kept the pressure and managed to force a turnover by RADS and called a time-out with 0.3 second left on the clock. One point game and 0.3 seconds on the shotclock. RADS cannot commit a foul as it could cost them the game with a two shot penalty; they have to defend hard without touching and pressure – now that is pressure.
The ball went inbound and it went to the guy I was guarding! Fuuuckkk… He turned around and released the ball as the siren went off and I contested, looked (and prayed hard). The ball hit the rim and bounced out. Fuh…
With that, RADS won the day by skin of its teeth. The fourth quarter RADS outscored Cagers 19 to 14 to give the overall score 56 -55. It was, like Brother Ise said, like the NBA.
The top scorer for RADS was Nik Zulhafizi with 17 points but the MVP for RADS went to Noor Solehin (14 points and 7 rebounds, shooting 77% on the court) and Mohamad Salihan Izham (6 points, 13 rebounds and 4 Assists). Muhamad Yazdi was doing ok (10 points, 10 rebounds – a double double), hehe.
The Top scorer for Cagers was its No. 8 with 21 points.
The barometer of the intensity of any games RADS played is the amount of profanity that came out of my mouth. I guess it was my way to get the players attention and alertness, or so I claim. In in this game, the profanity level was off the charts…but the guys took it well…as Zed said, it is expected. Hehehe
The 2nd game of the series will beheld sometime after the Chinese New Year. Hope to see you guys then.