We won the North Zone Tournament at SBPI Kubang Pasu for the third time in a row (threepeat!!). It was a hectic two-day tournament. The Cagers played a total of seven games.
7th April - Friday
9:15 am MC vs. SMSSMJiwa (Kedah)
The first round games were played for 7 minutes non stop (not even for time-out or free throw). So it was really a short game, not more than 5 minutes of actual playing time. The Cagers started the first quarter well by holding SMSSMJ scoreless 11 - 0. Mr. Liew utilized the 2-3 defensive style. The second quarter was also one sided with Cagers scoring 7 points while SMSSMJ managed to get their solitary basket. The score at the half was 18 – 2. Mr. Liew used only 7 players. The third quarter, the Cagers slowed down their tempo to conserve the energy. The final score was 40 – 23. Aliff, the captain, played well by scoring 20 points. Qassim contributed 2 3-pointers in the game.
2:30 pm MC vs. STAR
The game was played under the hot sun, immediately after Friday prayers. The Cagers started cautiously. Mr. Liew reverted back to the Cagers normal defensive pattern 2-1-2. The Cagers were leading 11 – 7 at the first quarter. The second quarter, the Cagers tightened their defense and managed to hold STAR scoreless. At the half, the Cagers were leading 21 – 7. In the third quarter, Mr. Liew put in the Junior Cagers. They managed to hold STAR at bay. The score was 27 – 11 by the end of third quarter. The table officers and the referees made a mistake by ending the game after third quarter. Qassim led the score with 9 points.
3:45 pm MC vs. SEMESTI (Teluk Intan)
The Cagers started very aggressively by holding SEMESTI scoreless at the half. The first five played only in the first quarter. The junior Cagers maintained the defensive intensity by not allowing any baskets. At the half the score was 21 – 0. The junior Cagers continued to play well defensively, allowing SEMESTI to only two baskets. The final score was 44 – 4. The score was well distributed with Justin leading the way with 8 points.5:00 pm MC vs. SERATAS (Taiping)
The first five played only for one quarter, the juniors played the rest of the game. The juniors struggled to play with the aggressive opponent. They were intimidated by the opponent, however they managed to lead 15 – 9 at the half. In the third quarter, the juniors struggled to keep SERATAS at bay. The juniors looked tired after playing most of the two games earlier. At the end of the third quarter, SERATAS managed to narrow the score 23 – 20. SERATAS were motivated and their supporters kept on shouting. Mr. Liew decided to put in the first five back in the last quarter. The Cagers held SERATAS scoreless. The final score was 33 – 20. Hazwan led a balance scoring with 9 points and 4 players contributing one 3-pointer each.
8th April - Saturday
8:30 am MC vs. SMSTSP (Kangar)
SMSTSP tried to intimidate the Cagers by playing rough. They were pushing and throwing their elbows at the Cagers. Mr. Liew was very upset with the aggressive style of play. The Cagers kept their cool and SMSTSP was scoreless in the first half 15 – 0. The second team played in the second half. The final score was 46 – 8. Qassim led the score with 15 points and 2 3-pointers.
10:00 am MC vs. SBPI Gopeng
The second team started the game against SBPI Gopeng. They are not in our league. SBPI Gopeng entered the semi by beating SMSAH 6 – 4 in the first round game. The juniors played well to lead 21 – 11 at the half. They continued to hold to the lead by the end of third quarter. Mr. Liew sent in the first five to start the fourth quarter. They played man-to-man defense all the way. The final score was 41 – 19. Justin led the score with 12 points. MC bench was assessed with a technical foul for being too loud during the game.FINAL
4:00 pm MC vs STAR
The Cagers started well and played cautiously. STAR’s point guard played well by hitting two 3-pointers and feeding their big center. The Cagers led 13 – 7 by the end of first quarter. Mr. Liew changed the defensive strategy by adopting the 4 – 1 (Box and 1), letting M followed the STAR point guard. M did his defensive job very well and limited the STAR point guard to only 1 basket. Meanwhile the Cagers turned on the offensive power by hitting the 3 points attempts. They made 6 3-pointers with Qassim contributing 3 of them. STAR couldn’t find any answer to the Cagers outside shooting. The Cagers led 33 – 10 at the half. The juniors took over in the fourth quarter. They continued the excellent defensive play by limiting STAR to only 6 points while the juniors scored 16. The final score was 67 – 21. The game was played for 10 minutes non-stop for each quarter. If the game was to be played for a full 10 minutes, the score would have reached 100 points.
Overall, the Cagers played well in the tournament. Skill and stamina wise, they were on a different league compared to other teams. The juniors showed their potential by playing well in the tournament.
Overall, the Cagers outside shootings were just awesome. The guards/forward (Qassim, M, Rahmat and Syahmi) were hitting their shots and that freed-up Aliff to move inside. The Cagers made a total of 23 3-pointers, with Qassim leading the way with 10. Justin showed his potential inside by controlling the board. Nash, the new point guard, showed marked improvement by reducing his passing mistakes.
On behalf of the Quest-4-Glory Project team, I would like to express my deepest appreciation to the following individuals:
· Mr. Liew for his undying commitment in driving The Cagers to excellence. His reputation for bringing the MCKK basketball to a class of its own is still intact!
· Cikgu Jimmy ‘91 who has done an excellent job in managing the team.
· Old Cagers (Aidi 89; Jimmy 91; Azran 96, wife and baby; Khalis 05, Mukhlis 05, Que 05) for being there to support.
· Nik Kamil 96, for coming all the way from USA via Melaka to cheer the Cagers and sponsoring the seafood dinner in Kuala Perlis, 6 NIKE basketballs, 24 pairs of NIKE socks, 60 bottles of 100 plus and the day-use of UUM Inn for the Cagers.
· Wan Zefri 88, for the excellent track suit.
· Azman Ibrahim ‘80, even though not a Cager, thank you for your support.
· Teacher in-charge of Basketball, Cikgu Nor Suhaimee.