Syukur, Alhamdulillah, the Cagers have retained the Piala Hamdan Tahir for the 5th consecutive times and 13th overall in the recently concluded Hari Kecemerlangan Sekolah Berasrama Penuh (HKSBP) in Jitra, Kedah.
Overall, The Cagers’ performance was not as good as Cagers 06 & Cagers 07. However, despite playing at about 50% of their true abilities, the Cagers managed to win all their games by more than 20 points difference. The Cagers were still heads and shoulders compared to other SBPs inspite of being off form. The Cagers 08 struggled to cope with the injuries suffered by 3 main players. They managed to recover just in time for HSKBP but their layoff affected their playing temperment and team synergy.
The others schools knew they couldn’t match the Cagers in basketball skills, fundamentals, teamwork and stamina. They resorted to play aggressive and rough games by fouling the Cagers hard, especially SDAR team. The coach asked his players to foul the Cagers at all costs, to prevent the smooth plays by the Cagers. This tactic was adopted by other teams as well. This is a worrying and unhealthy trend used by our opponents. The referees didn’t help by missing a lot of calls and still using old rules and regulations. The table officers compounded the problems by poor keeping of the match statistics and record. Despite all that, the Cagers managed to hold their heads high and win with comfortable margins.
Ishak Ariffin ‘77 was there to see and he commented in his email: It was alarming to see that the others schools adopted a very 'unsporting' approach when playing MCKK Cagers. They think they cannot beat the Cagers so the players were instructed to go out and bash up our players instead of playing basketball. Shame on the coaches and teachers! And we wonder how our kids became hooligans... some of them were possibly taught to be one!
MC Cagers vs. SDAR
23rd of May 2008, 9.30 am Court A,
The Cagers started cautiously against the bigger SDAR players. They played excellent defense in the first quarter by limiting SDAR to only 8 point and scoring 19 point themselves. They continued to play excellent defense in the second quarter to take 34 – 15 lead at the half.
SDAR resorted to aggressive and rough game in the second half. This tactic rattled the Cagers; however, they managed to keep the lead 45 – 36 at the end of third quarter. Three SDAR starters fouled out of the game early in the 4th quarter and the Cagers managed to overcome the initial shock and played to their game plan. They outscored SDAR by 14 points in the fourth quarter to win 69 – 46.
The Cagers played below their own standard in this opening game and showed apparent signs of nervousness. They struggled against the bigger and aggressive opponents. Justin led the scoring with 18 points.
MC Cagers vs. SMS Kuching
23rd of May 2008, 5.00 pm, Court A,
The Cagers started well by scoring 21 points in the first quarter, while holding SMS Kuching to only 15 points. The scoring prowess continued in the second quarter with the Cagers 41 – 27 at the half. The Cagers struggled to score in the third quarter but they managed to play excellent defense to keep the lead 49 – 33. They recovered offensively in the fourth quarter by scoring 13 points to win the game 62 – 40.
The Cagers continued to struggle against an aggressive opponent. Justin led the score with 17 points and Am added 16 points.
MC Cagers vs. SESMA
24th of May 2008, 5.00 pm Court A,
The Cagers had a training camp with the SESMA team in 2006 in Kuala Terengganu. The team was ‘friendly’ to the Cagers. The Cagers started off slowly. They looked relieved to play SESMA team knowing there would be no aggressive and rough plays. They took a 26 – 18 lead at the half. The Cagers struggled in the third quarter and SESMA took advantage by narrowing the score 30 – 25 by the third quarter. The Cagers woke up from the evening slumber and tightened up defensively in the fourth quarter. They outscored SESMA 20 – 8 in the fourth to win 50 – 33.
The Cagers wasn’t playing all out with the ‘friendly’ opponent. SESMA was the only team that managed to get closest (3 points) to the Cagers. Justin and Ammar led the scoring with 12 points each.
MC Cagers vs. SBPI Gombak (SBPI Gom)
25th of May 2008, 11.00 am Court A,
This was the last game of the pre-round for the Cagers. SBPIGom was also unbeaten by upsetting SDAR in their earlier game (52 – 41). SBPIGom had to play SMS Kuching later in the evening. The Cagers started off well, offensively, to take the lead 19 – 7 in the first quarter. SBPIGom adopted SDAR tactics by trying to intimidate the Cagers in the second quarter. The Cagers continued to play excellent defense and led 31 – 14 at the half. The Cagers continued the pressure in the third quarter by scoring 18 points and held SBPIGom to only 6. The second team took over in the fourth quarter and held the tiring SBPIGom to only 2 points. Cagers won 61 – 22, the Cagers’ biggest winning margin in the tournament.
The tired SBPIGom were eliminated by SMS Kuching later in the evening. SBPIGom paid a heavy price by playing all out trying to match the Cagers. Syahmi managed to score three 3-pointers, Cagers’ first in the tournament. Am led the scoring with 16 points and Syahmi helped with 14 points.
MC Cagers vs. SMS Hulu Selangor (SEMASHUR)
26th of May 2008, 8.00 am Court C, SMSAH
SMS Hulu Selangor qualified for the semifinal through point count back after 3 teams; MOZAC, SMESH and SEMASHUR each lost a game to each other.
The Cagers started aggressively against SEMASHUR. They held SEMASHUR to only 7 points while scoring 23 in the first quarter. The Cagers struggled to play in the second quarter after an excellent start in the first quarter. They managed to hold on the lead 36 – 19 at the half. The Cagers recovered their rhythm in the third to lead 53 – 24. The second team took over in the fourth. They couldn’t keep the intensity by the first team but managed to hold on to win 65 – 49.
Justin led the balance scoring with 19 points, the Cagers hit three 3 pointers with Amir contributing 2 and Syahmi 1.
MC Cagers vs. SMS Muzaffar Shah (MOZAC)
26th of May 2008, 5.00 pm Court C, SMSAH
MOZAC qualified for the final by beating SMS Kuching 75 – 62 in the other semifinal.
MOZAC startled the Cagers by scoring the first 4 points. The Cagers tightened up their defense by limiting MOZAC to only another 4 for the quarter. The Cagers showed their prowess by scoring 20 points to lead 20 – 8 at the end of first quarter.
The Cagers struggled offensively in the second quarter, however they played excellent defense by limiting MOZAC to only 5 points to take the lead 26 – 13 at the half. The second half continued with the Cagers playing superb defense, allowing MOZAC to only 6 points to lead 37 – 19 at the end of third quarter. The second five took over in the fourth and led all the way to a comfortable margin of 52 – 30.
The Captain and the tournament MVP, Mokri led the scoring with 15 points with a single 3-pointer. Syahmi contributed 13 points with two 3-pointers.
Our ‘sister’ team, STF Dynamites, has successfully defended their championship in style by thrashing their opponents all the way (beating SEMASHUR 60 – 10, SMSKuching 59 – 30, SAINA 66 – 04, SMSTMFPutra 66 – 14, semifinal
On behalf of the Q-4-G team, I would like to express our deepest appreciations to the following:
· Mr. Liew for his undying commitment in driving The Cagers (& the Dynamites) to excellence. His reputation for bringing the MC Cagers to a class of its own is still intact!
· The MCKK HM, Mr. Rauhi; PK 1 Mr. Shamsudin Mustapha; PK HEM Mr. Fairuz; PK
· The continuous support from MCOBA, especially Mr. President DS Mac and JakLi ’76.
· YABhg. Tun Haniff for the sponsorship in rebuilding the New Hostel court.
· The MCOBA Northern Chapter, especially Sdr Fauzi ‘75 & Tn Hj. Ariffin ‘66 for the grand welcoming lunch and all oldboys who were there supporting the Cagers during the games.
· Old Cagers; especially Izuan Amir ’87, Riza Beg '76, A.Halim Hussien ’77, Annuar Marzuki ’87, Chaei ’92, Azran ’96, Faisal Shahbuddin ’87, Dr. Aidi ’89, Farizal ’87, Rizal ’85, Jimmy ’91, Kamarul Azrin, M.Ikram Badar, Nik Kamil and Tan Sri Megat Zaharuddin, thank you for your invaluable contributions and endless moral support towards the project. Once a Cager, always a Cager!
· Zainal Abidin Abas ‘80, Azman Mohd. Hussien ’80, Azman Ibrahim ’80, Kamarul ‘Asri ‘80 and Uniqorn 76 – 80 for the timely financial contributions.
· Serpents ’78 for the sponsorships (jersey and shoes).
· The STF HM, Pn Hajah Junaidi & Ex-HM, Pn Halimah Shaaban, PKs, Teachers for hosting the Dec intensive camp in STF. STF Drivers (En Sharom & En Salleh) for helping to ferry our players from SMJ to the courts throughout the tournament while MCKK’s driver had to attend to other matters in Kuala Kangsar.
The 2008 Cagers
Standing: Mokri (Capt.), Am, Ammar, Justin (Asst. Capt.), Luqman, Khairul, Azim
Squatting: Syahmi, Iwan, Syai, Jae, Amir