Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A note from Mr. Liew: An Interview By NST Journalist

Mr Liew's note:

"This afternoon I was interviewed through phone by a gentleman from NST asking my involvement of basketball activities in MCKK.  Briefly, I told him that it all started way back in 1974, interestingly at a public phone booth in Kuala Kangsar.... for details please watch out this interesting article in NST later.

Anyway, I would like to highlight a few key points that I had elaborated in the said interview:

  • All Cagers that have been trained by me thus far are well disciplined, committed and obedient.  These qualities have given me the strength to continue in coaching them for the last 30 over years. They not only performed in the game but they also excelled in their studies. I am truly proud of these group of 'budak Koleq'.
  • All along I am harbouring a humble dream i.e. to promote racial integration and enhance national unity through basketball. Towards this end I have found a platform in coaching the Cagers in pursuing this dream.  I have to a certain extent fulfilled this simple dream mainly because the Malay College basketball team has become a crowd favourite particularly in Chinese villages/communities (Liman Kati and Kg Station in Kuala Kangsar, Sg Siput, Berchem, Mengelembu, Jawi, Subang Jaya, Seberang Jaya, Setiawan, Pulau Pangkor, and most recently Kg Raja, Tanah Rata, Ringlet and Cameron Highlands.)
  • With the full cooperation and support rendered to me by The College and its Pengetua, PIBG and its President/Exco, MCOBA and its President/Exco, Old Cagers and Oldboys, all but leave me with no choice to stay put as the coach.
  • In my reply to a question posed by that gentleman how do I feel for being accorded as an honoury member of MCOBA, my answer is "TERHARU" as I have never expected such a distintive honour would be accorded to me. I really appreciate and treasure it very, very much.  Of course, without the strong support and assistance from Quest-for-Glory team namely, Riza Beg'76, Ise'80 & Ana, Cikgu Jimie'91 and so many other good samaritans, I hardly can imagine all these good things could have been happened to me.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Relaunching the Quest-4-Glory:REDEMPTION and MCKK Cagers Facebook group

The Old Cagers came back to KK during the XMas weekend to launch their facebook group and relaunch the Quest-4-Glory:REDEMPTION.  The Old Cagers from 70's, 80's, 90's and 00's came back to test their basketball skills against the Cagers.  Some of the younger ones still have the skills and abilities while the older ones still have their skills, but the bodies refuse to cooperate.

They played several games against the Cagers.  They were overwhelmed by the Cagers on the first day (friday).  The next day, the reinforcement turn up and managed to outlast the Cagers in a 6 quarters game.  The Old Cagers outnumbered the Cagers and they used the advantage well. A rematch is on later this afternoon.  Lets hope the Old Cagers will enjoy themselves with KK food (pau, cendol etc). The Cagers are resting and will have their revenge.

Update:  The Cagers lost again to the old Cagers 67 - 73.  The Old Cagers took advantage of the evening drizzle and the wet court.  The Cagers couldn't use their speed and fitness advantage due to the slippery wet court.  The game were played cautiously at a slow speed, this tempo suited the old boys better.

Thank you to all the old Cagers who made the effort to come back for the weekend.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Piala Dato' Seri Nazri: KK Open U18

Cagers are playing in the Piala Dato' Seri Nazri Aziz:KK Open U18 in Kuala Kangsar.  They've won their first game against Sg. Siput 58 - 54 on Sunday. Tonight, 23 Dec, they won their 2nd game against GBBM 72 - 34.

The Cagers played well to outlast GBBM. The Cagers outran GBBM in the second half after leading GBBM by 9 points at the half.  Cagers managed to hit 7 3-pointers in the game and their pressure defence gave GBBM problems through out the game.

The next game will be on Friday, 25th Dec.  Followed by several friendlies with the oldboys during the weekend.  The old Cagers will be back in KK to launch their MCKK Cagers Facebook group and the relaunching of "Quest-4-Glory:REDEMPTION.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Article in NST 14 Dec pg 11

MCKK old boys enrol first non-Malay member


KUALA LUMPUR: The perception that racism rules the daily lives of Malaysians was quashed on Saturday when a retired police officer was given the rare distinction of being the first non-Malay to be inducted as a member of the Malay College Old Boys Association (Macoba), an exclusive all-Malay alumni group.
Liew Yong Choon coached basketball at the residential school for more than 20 years and brought big successes along the way to Malay students in the Chinese-dominated sport.

Apart from voluntarily coaching the Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK) basketball team to become school champions in the late 1970s and 1980s, Liew spent a lot of his free time with the students, acting as a counsellor.

He also gave his charges tuition in English, Maths and Science and would set academic targets for them, failing which they would be suspended and not able to train with the team for several days.

Liew took pride in bringing an all-Malay basketball team to play in Chinese tournaments and made the team a crowd favourite.

He was named honorary member at the Macoba annual dinner in front of royalty and luminaries who included the Sultan Perak Sultan Azlan Shah, the Raja Muda of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and former national police chief Tun Hanif Omar.
The appointment reinforced a statement by association president Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin Megat Khas in his speech at the start of the function that the old boys of MCKK, despite their upbringing in a closed community boarding school environment, were never known to be racist nor racial fanatics.

"Why this outlook, why this cosmopolitan outlook which one would not normally associate with an enclosed one-race environment?" he asked and went on to answer it by quoting a popular belief among old boys that they were not racists because of their exposure to a multiracial teaching faculty.

However, today, Megat Najmuddin added, the teaching staff is totally Malay and the question he posed was how do MCKK students escape the embrace of racial fanaticism.

"This is a genuine concern and perhaps we have travelled along the communal paths far too far that somehow we have to come together again as 1Malaysia.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Honorary Member of MCOBA

Last night, MCOBA honoured Mr. Liew as an honorary member of MCOBA, the second honorary member and the first, probably the last Chinese to be honoured. I was given the honour to read Sir's citation to introduce him to the members.

In 1977 MCKK won the Tun Hamdan Cup (National SBP Basketball Tournament) for the first time.  From then onwards, MCKK Basketball team; popularly known as the Cagers, continued to win the cup 13 times in its 33 years history.
It all started in 1974 when Mr. Liew Yong Choon helped a first former, Aziz Salleh, make a phone call from a booth in KK town. Knowing Aziz was keen in basketball Mr Liew, being a Perak basketball player, volunteered to coach basketball at MCKK starting with the Form one on a part time basis. Mr Liew began coaching the juniors regularly, and every weekend from 1974 he would go back to Kuala Kangsar from where he was posted, as a police officer, for the next 14 years till 1988.  Due to work commitments, he took a break from 1989 till 2002, although he made a short comeback in 92 & 93 to help the Cagers win the Cup again.
After his optional retirement from PDRM in 1997, he came back to MCKK in 2003.  Together with the old Cagers, they set up the Quest-4-Glory project.  Mr Liew, not only coached the Cagers basketball but gave the junior Cagers tuition in English, Maths and Science and arranged extra tuition for the seniors.  Mr Liew would set academic targets for the Cagers and help the Cagers to achieve them.  Failing which they would be suspended and not able to train with the team for several days.
Yes, Mr Liew, has given his time, money and expertise to the Cagers.  His dedication and commitment to uplift the Cagers was not because of money, it was for the love of the game and devotion to the boys.  It was his dedication over a period of 32 years, and his devotion to the Cagers, that has made the Cagers a force to be reckoned with and respected not only by the SBP teams but other basketball teams in Perak and Penang.  He took pride in bringing an all Malay basketball team to play in a Chinese community and became the crowd favourite.
This ex police officer who was one of the youngest promoted to SAC II and a Perakian, born in Kuala Kangsar deserves special mention for his tireless and selfless effort in not only uplifting the Cagers to what it is today, but also as a role model for all to replicate. 
For his contribution to MCKK and for his exemplary devotion to a noble cause in the spirit of ‘FIAT SAPIENTIA VIRTUS’, it is with great pleasure that MCOBA award him the ‘Honorary Membership’ of MCOBA.  Mr. Liew Yong Choon, Sir, you may now proudly wear the college tie, as a member of MCOBA.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Captain's Word: Mokri 2008

Thanx to Abg Ise coz give me a task to be done.  Lagipun tak de keje nak buat.  I got something to do now.  Hehehe…..
Sorry bcoz as you know, I’m not a good writer and even not a good storyteller.
But, when it comes to talk about basketball particularly about CAGER 0408 and how we worked together, huh..!! Banyak nye nak type.  Due to the fact, it is my experience I love the most for the time being.
To all captains regardless which form you are now, hopefully you’ll get some ideas how to lead the team.  I wasn’t that good but hopefully can share something precious.  And to the others please take note that the job isn’t place on the captain’s shoulder alone.  Everyone has his own responsibilities.
Nak dijadikan cerita, everything started in form 2.  Mase form 1 tak tau pape lagi.  Nak jage diri sendiri pun tak lepas.  In fact, I were chosen by the form5 ’04 when the school season was about to end.  So time ni banyak giler buat meeting.  Every weekend sure ade meeting.  If tak buat in classroom, we gathered in surau new hostel and burnt the midnight oil.  RAMPA horn pun ignore je.  During meeting, it was not necessary to talk formally about training.  Time ni la we met up then solved problems yang appeared.  It didn’t matter problem tu pasal ape pun; besar ke or kecik ke, all problems need to be settled awal-awal.  Then, after discussing the issues, we were joking around, gelak-gelak..
I still remember one moment sir marah kat semue form 2 sebab turun court lambat since mase tu puase and prep pun takde.  So everyone was taking advantage to sleep.  Unfortunately, that day semue lambat.  Therefore, I arranged a meeting at night.  Starting from that incident, we constructed a time table for who shouldn’t sleep on a particular day.  He was required to wake everybody up before azan Asar.  For your information, there was a secret beneath the action of organizing meetings..  Actually, by organizing meetings, everyone started to realize that I were their captain.  Consequently, respect started to blossom.  Sebab tu orang cakap, no need to ask respect from others instead, kite kene respect orang lain dulu.  Other than that, we did everything together; walked to class, came down to court, makan, we did everything as one..  This in a way made everybody felt appreciated and we knew in everything we did, there were someone accompanied us.  Maybe due to that tak ramai sangat yang quit.
Masuk pulak form 3.  Ramai cakap mase form 3 semue buat hal sendiri, tak nak dengar cakap orang.  Fortunately, my teammates weren’t like that.  Still buat meetings regularly in common room pavi or in class.  Problems still emerged but as long as a captain could handle it, everything ran normally.  Ade 1 mase tu, when sir announced it was not compulsory for form 3 to come down to the court, then I started to worry.  You know what, once we did escape practicing for a long time, we’ll be so lazy.  I experienced that.  That time, Justin, ‘Ammar and a few players malas sangat nak turun court.  If study okay la kan but then, everyone were sleeping.  So kene pakse laa.  If petang tu takde kelas then I rounded pavillion from dorm 2 sampai dorm 7.  Kejutkan semue orang.  When we expect something from others, we have to show it 1st.  Kene la tunjukkan contoh yang t’baek kat semue.
That year, we still did the whole thing jointly.  Mase prep, study same-same kat bawah TAR Hall though studied just for a few minutes only.  Most of the time chitchatting.  Pegi kelas, surau, Carey Hall even duduk kat meja Carey pun same-same.  If I put my tray on a table, then no one dared to sit around me at the same table.  Everyone knew already it reserved for my teammates.  I tried to coordinate as much activities as I can in order to get everybody in a team.  Every Saturday, we went to the town together and spent our time with each other.  Nampak simple je kan tapi bende-bende macam ni la yang rapatkan kitorang.
Come to form 4..  That year sangat la best coz dorm dekat dengan court.  Mase ni tak susah sangat la basically semue dah matured.  Just need to work hard to fully conquer ‘Ammar, Justin, Luqman, Stamai.  They quite malas.  Everyday nak kene kejut tido.  As a matter of fact, that was my job.  So every evening, before coming down to the court, the whole east wing could hear my voice.  I shouted to Justin in dorm 1 from dorm 7B.  “Justin, Justin..!!ko kejut budak dorm bawah, aku dah kejut semue kat dorm atas.” Huh..kelakar giler..
Time warm up final PPM, sedey giler, macam nak nangis pun ade.  I was just thinking how could I handle the CAGERS after the season ended? In fact, dah lame soalan tu ade kat dalam kepale.  The best thing mase form 4 was during Spritzer Cup Tournament.  Win or lose wasn’t matter at that time the thing was teamwork.  That time we managed the trip ourselves.  Wrote letter balik kampong, accommodated at Justin’s house, shared money for tickets and taxis.  Syahmi habis duit banyak sangat.  Poor him.  But, untuk team, ape-ape pun bley buat.  We were so proud as our mission accomplished.
After PPM I divided my job to each of my teammates after being told by Aunt Ana.  Fitness statistic (Jae) first aid kit (Ammar) storeroom (Stamai) skipping (Iwan) bola (Syahmi) jersey (Justin) etc.  By doing this, tak la seksa sangat nak supervise team.  Tapi still need to examine them and make sure semue keje beres.  Then, every batch pun ade orang observed.  Form 1(Acap, Iwan, Puyuh, Syahmi) form 2 (Zayne, Ammar, Luqman) form 3 (Justin, Jae, Stamai).  It lightened my burden.  Actually segan sangat when Aunty tegur pasal team seemed I didn’t know how to manage the team.  After 2nd thought, I realized I’ve to accept advices be it from my teammates or outsiders as it beneficial for me and others.  I cannot be selfish.
After fully undertaking the team, I had my own mission that I didn’t want to burden Mr Liew, Abg Ise and Aunty Ana with small crisis.  We as the seniors tried our best to keep away the problems from them and tried to solve it on our own.  What we wanted was Mr Liew to entirely focus on training rather than settling issues that weren’t linked with team performance.  One night I organized an isolated meeting beside the court between form 4.  “Aku layak ke nak lead korang?” I asked them, "ade sesape yang bley buat better than me? If ade then I don’t mind, dye bley jadi kapten team ni.” Bunyi macam dah give up je kan..  But word ‘give up’ never existed in my dictionary instead I only wanted the best for the team and the best person deserve that post to shoulder the huge responsibility.  That night kitorang semue nangis.  Hehe.  Everybody put their trust on me to lead the team.  I couldn’t afford to disappoint them.
Finally, form 5.  Year of 2008, my focus not only to lead the team to the glory plus, I wanted everyone got an ever lasting memory.  Sir pun seldom turun court bcoz he was so buzy with his business..  He only informed me what to do on a particular evening through phone.  Tapi, I just added something extra for the team.  Sir told me routework 3 rounds, I said 5 rounds.  Suicide 1, 2 I said 1, 2, 2 or 1, 2, 3.  Hahaha…kejam nye..nak buat camne, macam tak possible je buat routework 3 rounds then suicide 1, 2..  That’s why everyday buat full blow.  Route work 3 to 5 rounds, skipping 5 minutes, then suicide 1, 2, 2 or 1, 2, 3.  If want to gain extra, then work extra…!!
On the court, expression kene serious for the reason I didn’t want any body to be playful on the court.  After penat-penat fitness, I made noises mase buat drills.  I hoped I could boost our spirit so that penat tu tak terasa sangat.  Truly, this action fuelled everybody.  In addition, by doing so, nampak la ade orang training kat court tu.  And biler orang lain tangok, they got impressed, “Hah, tu la Cagers.” After training over, I called up everyone including juniors.  We shared problems among us as I believed sharing is caring.  The FAMILY concept still progressed.
Teammates lain pun dah ade their own jobs.  Hence, my duties tak banyak sangat.  If there was anything, I just enquired the one who in charged.  “Stamai, store dah kemas?” “Justin, jersey cukup tak? Count once again,” “Ammar, barang first aid kit cukup?” “Jae, buku statistic mane? Dah isi belum?”……macam tu laaa….  I still memorize an event where we were about to go to SERATAS for North Zone Level.  I asked one by one to open their bag and myself checked whether they had brought the jerseys or not.  That time ‘Ammar was so confident yang dye dah bawak.  Dye pun malas nak bukak beg.  But I compelled him to do so and I wanted to check on my own.  By then, baru noticed yang dye missed jersey hitam.  Hah…! Naseb baek… So a captain must check small small things to avoid any unpleasant thing to happen.  Furthermore, bende-bende macam ni la yang bley buat sir hilang focus nak coach.  Afterwards, captain gak yang kene blame.  So, prevention is always better than cure.
When juniors ade problem, I just sent ‘Ammar, Justin, Luqman, Jae or Syahmi to settle it.  After that still take note.  Tak de la nak ignore camtu je..coz junior pun part of the team.  Lagipun at least they learnt how to deal with problems.
As a captain we should appreciate semue orang regardless orang tu contribute to the team or not.  You know why..? Bcoz we never awared that person contributed or not.  For me, the credit should be given to those who were not capable to be in the team.  They played indirect role to boost the team spirit.  Just imagine if there were only 15 persons training on the court, no competition right..? Besides, diorang la yang happening kan court.  Practice ramai-ramai baru best tapi tak la ramai sangat.  They knew that they will never be in the team, but they still came down to cheer for us.  Respect kan..? Bcoz of that I didn’t allow Acap, Puyuh, and Zayne to quit from the team.  “Mok, ko rase kitorang ade chance nak masuk team?” they sought the answer from me personally.  It was hard for me to answer that question.  “Please, Acap, Puyuh and Zayne, korang jangan quit, aku really need korang untuk support team.” So I recommended them to meet Mr Liew and told him they were willing to take over the juniors but not to quit from the team. 
Same goes to ‘Ammar and Justin.  Even though people always uttered they created troubles in the team, but if diorang takde, I never knew how to get used with difficulties.  I learnt a lot from both of them how to manage my emotion in conducting critical situations.  Sebab diorang gak la I became a little matured. 
Apart from that, captain should know how to treat orang yang banyak b’jasa kat team.  Mr Liew, Abg Ise, Aunty Ana, they sacrificed a lot for the team.  For example, we did keep in touch with Mr Liew frequently.  Tanye khabar, opinions, and share happiness.  But we never told him the obstacles we coped with.  Bukan ape, tak nak dye susah hati.  Tapi kitorang solved semue tu same-same.  So, never sampai kat pengetahuan sir.  At least bersih la sikit name team.
Before I let the cat out of the bag, I wish Aunty, Abg Ise and Sir will forgive me.  Actually, my injuries before PPM National weren’t because I fell down however, in point of fact, it was my own stupidity.  That time I was so mad with Justin and Ammar as they escaped from shooting practice doing their own business.  It wasn’t fair to the others yang training under the burning of sun rays.  I lost my emotional control.  I hammered the glass window kat dorm 1 with my own hand.  Consequently, my arm got wounded.  Fool right..? Huh… I got a lesson.  In spite of everything, I trained as usual.  Sampai la kat Cameron Highlands baru tau I got infected.  Sorry bcoz we as a team were keeping the truth solely to avoid sir marah.  Tak sanggup nak witness sir marah.  Mase tu pun most of the main players injured; Syahmi and Luqman injured ankle, Justin peha, Ammar pinggang.  Huh, takkan nak add up masalah kat sir..? dilema mase tu…mintak maaf ea, Abg Ise, Aunty Ana, and Mr Liew….=) Auspiciously, I can play sampai final.
To wrap up, a captain plays a significant role in a team.  Dari dalam court sampai luar court, semue under the duty of a captain as long as it related to the team accomplishment.  Nevertheleast, teammates lain pun ade tanggungjawab sendiri.  If captain je yang committed tak bley gak.  Captain needs support from teammates especially batchmates.  Everyone must do everything for the sake of the team.  Top student in batch bcoz of team, zero disciplinary problem bcoz of team, train hard bcoz of team.  Everything laa..  Other than that, each and everyone of us have to care and love for each other.  As a team, we should ever ready to sacrifice for the sake of the team.  If semue ni run perfectly, sampai 1 level, kite akan rase kosong if sehari tak jumpe teammates.  Just like me, duduk kat rumah rindu giler kat Justin, Iwan, Luqman, Syahmi, Jae, ‘Ammar, Stamai, Acap, Zayne and Puyuh.  Even the juniors, tak penah lupe kat diorang.  Nak tinggalkan team pun tak sampai hati.  Hmmmm…

Captain's Word: Rahmat 2007

I'm writing this purely based on my experience when I was the captain back then.  This is for the sake of the present team. Hopefully, you will find my thoughts to be helpful. thanks and regards.
Different leaders have different styles but they do have things in common which are responsibility and sensitiveness.  From my experience, responsibility is what you feel inside yourself when you are given a trust to be the captain of Cagers and sensitiveness is your natural alertness of your surroundings.
Talking about being responsible, a captain MUST think that he is very important to the team. You can’t expect your fellow teammates to be responsible because they actually think the captain is the one who carries that burden. A captain cannot simply give away his responsibility to his teammates because it is just not right! Therefore, in managing the team, a captain should have plans and strategies in dealing with the problems.  For me, being the captain of Cagers is a lot more important than scoring all A’s in SPM, no kidding.  That was the thing that bothered me the most when I was in form five.  Every single minute I was thinking about the team and the title.  But then again, a captain should readily aware that a team doesn’t complete without a coach.  For Cagers, Our coach is someone who is so special for which you have to take it more than any winning of games.  Since I’m talking about Cagers, Mr Liew is a very particular person but that doesn’t mean he is very difficult to deal with.  We are lucky enough to have someone who cares about everything related to basketball.  This is what I mean with sensitiveness.  I frankly admit that the mighty of Cagers comes from the coach which we’d love to call him by the name ‘Sir’.  What I want to stress out here is if the team really wants to win the title, the players have to follow sir’s instructions.  He has the credit as a winning coach, the history proves it all.  I understand that sometimes we never mean to not follow his instructions but I believe most of the time we forget and take things for granted.  So, as a captain, you MUST always keep reminding the team about the ultimate goal, discipline, current standard of playing and gameplay effectiveness, the weakness, the strength, the family, the studies and everything.  A captain should know how to adjust the difference in seniority to suit with the relationship among the teammates.  To me, Cagers is my extended family and I cherish every moment being with them.
The best advice I can give to you is that you should improve on yourself first before you can do the rest of the jobs.  Just like basketball, you got to learn how to dribble before you can do a layup.  You don’t have to copy what the previous captains have done, instead, have it your way.  I believe every captain has his own version in handling the team.  From my observation, you have not yet tried your best.  There will always be critiques and complaints, but that’s how we improve ourselves.  Try your best, give out everything you have if you really want something so badly.  If you don’t know how, we will always be there for you.  Keep on trying and trying and then only you will find the best model that fits your leadership capability.  Don’t worry, this is the platform for you to learn and show the world who you really are.  2009 PHT CUP will reflect your effort and commitment to your team.  How much you are willing to sacrifice, how much you are willing to cry, how much  you can sustain in hell before you can taste the sweet of glory will all depend on you!
Again, I would like to remind you, LISTEN, UNDERSTAND AND FOLLOW what sir has to say and make sure the whole team do the same thing.  Be inspiring, keep the flame blazing, never give up and ALL THE BEST!

Captain's Word: Alep 2006

Dear all Cagers,
Alep here, captain Cagers for the year of 2006, due to permintaan abg ise, just wanna put some advises for the current team of 2009, as far as I am concern, I knew that Syai sedang memegang panji2 as the captain for 2009.  I did know all the players and even know their attitude during my 'f5' at koleq'.  where to start at?
As a team, there is a lots of thing that we have to focus at and put some extra perhatian actually.  Having a team is not such an easy job.  Need a lot of efforts, feelings towards each others, concern and so on.  Guess you guys know it very well right.  When the team is falling down or having some sort of problem, please dont behave like you dont even know it, or easily put the blame towards the captain or the person who did it, that seriously not the way to solve it.  Or mybe it just gonna make the situation become more worst and worsterest.  Buat meeting selalu, discuss bout almost everything, especially the f5, being a f5 is completely 'sangat sangat bertanggungjawab' after all.
If my team did kalah on the year of 2006, people never blame another batch or put their finger kepada batch 2005, no and never such thing happen.  People will talk about f5 on that year.  That actually is the pressure commonly yang f5 kena pikul.  Seriously cant run from it.  No matter what happen. 
But eventually, from tekanan2 itu, we get to have all those courage, speret, kesedaran and so on.  No one can help us esp the f5, this is ur last year, just give ur best and all out.  North zone is just around the corner.  After that, ppm national.  Then ur life as a Cagers are gone already.  Hanya tinggal kenangan-kenangan manis or kenangan pahit, that you guys who have the right to decide it.  No one else, tak kan Mr Liew, tak kan abg ise or kak ana.  What they or we can do is just supporting the team, motivating the team, tunjuk ajar apa patut and give the true spirit.  We did put a lot of harapan or semangat untuk melihat team 2009 to win dis year ppm.  Its such a hope from us after all.  Please dont forsake us.
Based on what that I have been through at my time, school seldomly menyokong apa yang Q4G did plan or any events about basketball.  Maybe they did cemburu perhaps.  But after all, who's care.  We keep on planning because we did have the semangat and of course sokongan from other pihaks.  Infact, as we all know, pihak sekolah sudah banyak berubah lately, that what I had heard.  It means good.  The school start to give some response towards apa yang Q4G did.  What we have to do is just to behave and produce minor problems.  Avoid any kes such as 'fly', pergi block junior malam2, jumpa jambu and other stuffs yang lain.  Pihak sekolah sentiasa mencari kesalahan, mencari point yang sesuai so that they got some extra point there and ada peluang untuk memburukkan nama Cagers.  That all, by the time we did behave, pihak sekolah got no point untuk diperjuangkan and then mereka akan just keep silent and mencari masa2 yang sesuai untuk memperkatakan hal hal Cagers pada masa2 yang datang.  Be alert about this.  Finish latihan tepat pada waktu nya.  Melainkan atas hal2 yang considerable.  Segerakan diri ke masjid by the time magrib.  Actually that is so common as a Cagers or even as budak koleq.  If not rampa for sure akan tercari2 or tekejar2.  Show some respect towards teachers even they didnt like you as a Cagers.  Ambil hati mereka jika perlu.  Dont make thing become more complicated because of that.  Be profesional..
Training time is so important for the team to develop and feel the understanding between each others, the chemistry among players and so on.  Team which dont even have a proper training wont and cant reach to the higher level.  Believe me, unless kesemua players amat amatlah talented and superb.  Taking the afternoon practise seriously are actually sangat penting.  We did not have enough time to practise melainkan waktu petang only.  So, give ur commitment on that.  Only for about one and half hours.  Fully focus and ignored yang tidak patut.  Playing basketball is not just about playing bola yg bulat and ada line kat tepi2 bola tue.  Its is about the whole team and how the team develops slowly until team get their own style and rhythm.  From the way kita main, people can assume us, just by looking at the way we did play.  That why practises are so important.  You guys sudah besar enough to think about it.  Doing lay up since f1 till f5 actually amat membosankan.  But itu lah basic yang membolehkan kita membuat move2 yang lain.  Depends on us how to make our lay up berlain dari orang lain.  Put some strength.  Flip the ball.  Makin lama kita practise, the more comfortable we got, the more confident inside ourselves.  And even the more confident yang kita letakkan on the ball yang kita pegang.  Trust me on this, if tak caya, ask abg ise sendri.  Lay up time f1 if nak dicompared kan with time f5.  What can we expect, on air pun dah lain, the way we flip the ball pun are totally different right.
Captain is tulang belakang team.  Even Tai Chek sendiri once told me this.  Membuatkan me and my teammates yang lain terkedu, but that is the true.  To Syai or any captain wannabe, there is a lots pro and contra of being a captain.  Its far away from easy.  It is not something that we can show off.  It is a big big responsibility that the captain have to carry on.  What a captain must do?
-always think about his teammate
-care about them
-give fully support on any events
-tidak bertindak sebagai batu api among players
-alert about anything as a team
-keep on informing about what the others must do
-lead practise petang or even pagi
-solve any problem that matter
-play very very well
Still banyak to mention above.  Sometimes, kebahagiaan sesuatu team also depends on the captain, how the capt handle it.  How the capt solve it and anything.  Any captain got their ways or methods of being a leader.  It is totally berlainan with other captain.  Dont compared them specifically.  Earn some respect from teammates.  Give some sign that other teammates have to follow you.  To listen what you got to say.  But after all, being a captain doesnt mean you cant berseloroh or bergurau senda with ur teammates.  You can, but in ur own special methods of communication.  Dont be too quiet.  So that people agak berani to approach you or say anything.  Alert kepada environment, ambil tahu cerita2 yang mungkin berkaitan with ur teammates.  Maybe he did have a problem with another teammates or anything.  As a captain, we got to expect anything.  But not just easily menuduh kepada sesiapa, works wisely.  Have a dicussion with ur teammates.  At least acap kali berjumpa, set up a place.  make it as event mingguan.  The most important, try to make ur teammates happy under ur leadership, that's the most thing you must to care about after all.  In a team, a lots of konflik dalaman may happen.  Maybe even sekarang.  Menjaga hati teammates sometime lebih penting dari menjaga hati sendiri. 
Handle a coach? best thing ever in my life.  Coach amat berharga bagi team, tanpa coach, sebuah team cant even develop themselves properly.  Coach always give sepenuh harapan towards ape yang he did ajar esp Mr Liew.  What coach needs is response from the players.  when there's no output from what he did ajar, maybe he would just kecewa and melemahkan semangat beliau.  When there is no comitment from both sides, then no ones could have any kebaikan from that circumstances.  Play it full-heartedly, not just half-heartedly.  follow the instructions.  have confident deep inside urself and even towards the coach.  The best thing is to try and build a really strong relationship and chemistry between players and coach.
To my dear f5, this year gonna be your last year.  Put more effort.  Please give more response and commitment.  If not for your team, just do it for the sake of people who did gave fully support and hopes yang menggunung tingginya.
abg ise and kak ana, saya tak sure apa yg saya type betul ke tak betul nih, but anyway, that's all for the time being, :)

Captain's Word: Cepe 2005

Captaincy is arguably the best honour to be bestowed to any individual player in a basketball team, or the CAGERS in the context of this writing.  A team captain resembles the spirit of the team and often he sets the example to fellow teammates on and off the court.  You do not necessarily have to be the best player in the team; attitudes in training and ability to lead are keys.
Ideally, the team captain should be the first to arrive for training, and the last to leave when the session ends.  This only shows your commitment in training.  One of the captain's main duties is to ensure harmony amongst team members.  Any melee that erupts should be resolved quickly, and not be brought up to Mr. Liew or any of the old boys unless it gets out of control.  Off the court, your responsibility as a captain still exists.  You will need to work equally hard to sustain academic excellence and good discipline as in basketball training.
Leadership style varies; one can opt for leadership by example or be the most vocal person in the team.  Like a ship captain who calmly manoeuvres his ship through the ocean, you have to keep your composure and temperament in handling your team.  A good captain helps to inspire his teammates to reach greater heights be it in training or study.  Like the captains in battlefields who tried hard to protect his army as told in classic war stories, the captain of CAGERS must put the interest of the team above everything else including your pursuit for personal glory.
It is important for the captain to communicate well with each member of the team.  You should neither encourage any segment of the team to form a clique nor should you form or participate in one.  Everyone is deemed equal in the team, albeit naturally a certain amount of respect should be reserved for senior players in the team.  A good team is one where everybody feels at ease in the company of others and it is partly the responsibility of the team captain to ensure that good camaraderie exists.
Besides, the team captain has to be in close touch with the coach and old boys who help to manage the team.  Messages from these people to players are usually conveyed through team captain, hence the need to have good interactions with both levels.  
It must be made clear to the captain that respect is not gained, but earned.  In this sense, dedication in training and good approach to the rest of the team will ensure that the captain earns this respect.  However there will be instances where one or two members of the team display acts of defiance.  As the captain, you ought to hold a clear-the-air talk by asking these players to sit down together.  Perhaps it has something the handling of the team.  Team captain has to readily admit to this and strive for improvement for his part.  It must be remembered that being the captain does not mean that you are immune to mistakes.  Teammates can help to point at these mistakes, hence the importance of close rapport in the team.  A good leader is one who is willing to listen to the plights and suggestions of the people he leads.  As has been mentioned earlier, issues amongst players are best kept away from the upper echelon of the team as to avoid anxiety and complications on their part.
It is only natural that the leadership quality of the captain will be constantly put under scrutiny.  Hence, the captain will have to maintain exceptional qualities and his on-court performance has to be at the highest level as to encourage similar effort from the rest of the team.  Despite the job being arduous-looking, the captain should try to enjoy his responsibility as not to feel too burdened by it.
For all the daily struggles and pressure in leading the team, it is only fitting that when the team ultimately wins, the captain gets the honour to lift the trophy ahead of everybody else in the team.  Everything else feels little and unimportant at this particular moment of glory.  Yes you struggled to carry the team, yes it had been a long, tiring ordeal, but now that you are holding the trophy, all that can be forgotten and you can bask in glory, mission accomplished.  This is the significant moment, one which the captain of each generation of CAGERS should aspire to get to.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Nageb's Story

Another write up, this time by Nageb. Again, I hope he won't mind this write up appeared in this blog.

 Recollection of Memories Inside Q-4-G
Ahmad Khalis Nazib @ Nageb 05, Headboy
Firstly I’d thank Abang Ise for giving me this brilliant opportunity to write.  I hope that this brief recollection of my experiences inside the Q-4-G project makes its way through to the reports.
The project was started in the late 2003, right after the Piala Hamdan Tahir tournament.  I was in form 3 at that particular time.  The pre- Q-4-G period was indeed a little mess from my perspective.  We obviously had the passion to win, but getting hold of the cup seemed a fairy tale considering the scattered training schedule we had and too many old boys offering contradicting advices.  In fact in 2002 the college team never even made it to the nationals.  But I have to acknowledge that there were focused and committed parties that tried to help out.
When Q-4-G came with the vision of 5 times winning the cup consequently, I did not buy into it immediately.  How can we skyrocket from not even getting into the nationals, to being a champion? But vision, commitment and substance were the key here.  I underestimated the sheer combination of 3 main people inside the project; Mr Liew, Abg Ise, and Kak Ana.  We had an extremely brilliant coach all along whom tactics and experiences were second to none, Abg Ise who managed to reel in some cash for camps and training sessions, and Kak Ana whose motherly attitude came in handy at difficult times.  Q-4-G unified all efforts to reincarnate as champs under one banner.  And this unification brought us glory the first year this project was launched; we became champs in 2004.
Technical wise, I think that’s all I am to mention.  There’s a lot more to what I wrote, but now I am going to touch on the sentimental side of my experience.
Life in college was not always that pleasant.  Personally, I was far away from my parents.  I had this inner desire to always be at the top, or among the top.  Be it academically, sports wise, or character wise.  But being in a sea of the most excellent people in Malaysia, it is easy to be outshined and feel left out.  At times I can feel myself paddling in vain.  But Q-4-G created a sense of belonging.  At times when I felt left out, Q-4-G acted as a support group.  I had my friends inside.  And I had Mr Liew, Abg Ise and Kak Ana giving all those useful advices.  We, inside the team, were always pushed to our limits.  We were forced to score in our exams, otherwise, we were’nt able to make the team.  And we were also required to not misbehave and act diplomatically.  Otherwise we’d just be clenching our teeth in anger being on the sidelines.
I still remember once when we encountered problems in a few science subjects, we were given assistance in the form of tuitions.  And indeed it was a major help considering the fact that we were almost disconnected from the world outside.  And since I was also a prefect, sometimes I felt it hard to hold my friends together while doing my responsibility well.  But I had an idol inside the team.  He was of integrity.  And in college, it’s always easy to tell people to act like this and act like that or question why at times it seems that we have students of no qualities.  It’s not that students do not strive for good character, but again, being detached from the world outside, we do need someone inside as an example, hopefully we can emulate the good qualities.  And Q-4-G gave me that.  An example for me to emulate.
There were a lot of other values in which I learnt from the project.  One of those I really appreciate was the power of commitment and self discipline.  As a kid I initially thought that most of the things in this world are destined or fated as the results show.  We have undergone torturous training sessions.  To me it was a miracle to see our margin points between us and Tsung Wah lessening every time we had friendly matches.  And we began winning.  I never thought that would happen.  But it did.  So I made a conclusion that it was all because of the hard work.  You can always achieve when you work for it.  Thanks to Q-4-G I still cling on to that principle till today.  Apart, I also learnt the art of teamwork and discussions, and how to have fun at times of stress.
To sum it all up, Q-4-G was indeed a masterpiece of its own.  I valued its existence.  Apart from providing me the opportunity to touch the sacred cup, I believe that part of what I hold on to today spawns from the Q-4-G project.  It is of much benefit to students, and I am confident that my teammates would also say the same about this project.  It was a door of opportunity.
Lastly I’d like to thank again, Mr Liew, Abang Ise, Kak Ana, the sponsors of Q-4-G for this fabulous idea and opportunity, and also to my teammates whom made the struggle to excellence more meaningful.
Ahmad Khalis Nazib
Class of 2005

Words from Cepe

The write up below was by Ahmad Amirul Hafidz Ab Rahman @ Cepe 05, Captain and Best Student 2005.  I requested him to write a few words to be included in my Q4G report.  Hope he won't mind the write up appeared in this blog.
When Bro Ise ’80 asked me to do a write-up on the successful Q-4-G project a few months back, I could not say no.  After all, I have been directly involved in the project in its first two years as a player, and I still follow the team’s progression closely even after I left college. This is a project that has helped me to achieve my dream as a basketball player, but beyond that it also played a hand in shaping my life.  It thus makes perfect sense to do something in return, and the decision to agree on writing this report is a no-brainer.  Little did I know, however, that the task at hand is not simple, that what I will need to try to put in words deals not only with the many visible accomplishments but also with the state of emotion of those involved, which is never easy to translate into writings.  This is a project with lessons that extend well beyond the basketball court, instilled deep in the heart of every player.  The arduous evening practice and gruelling ballgames still serve as a constant reminder that there is no easy way to get to the finish line.  Mr. Liew’s careful instructions on and off the court did not escape us once the trophy was won.  The camaraderie that was built en route to reaching the goal lives on.  It is with joy that we watch as our juniors continue in our footsteps, and also with hope that such project will continue and benefit the coming generations.  It is one of life’s many mysteries that after all these sweet successes, the hunger for more grows even larger over the years.
So the story started, as has become known to many, in the second half of 2003 when Mr. Liew decided to come back over and offer guidance to the CAGERS.  This was back in the dark ages for the CAGERS, when we had not won the PHT for the past ten years.  In the previous year, the CAGERS even stumbled in the North Zone tournament, not making past the semi-final round thus failing to qualify to compete at the national level.  Such was the cruel fate of the college basketball team that had started so brilliantly and enjoyed so many successes back in the 70s, 80s and early 90s.  As coincidence has it, Bro Azmi ’91  also returned to KK a few weeks before Mr. Liew did, and the two started off the tough and ambitious effort to bring glory back to the CAGERS.  Bro Ise and a number of other old boys entered the frame in that same period and provided direct helps in training as well as financial needs.  With that, the stage was set for the CAGERS to quest for glory, what was left was for the players to put in their finest effort to turn the dream into reality.  That was exactly what we did.
CAGERS ’04 were already fundamentally sound before the arrival of Mr. Liew, and many had predicted us to go further than the previous teams did.  However, fundamentals alone could not win us a championship; what we lacked were cohesive team efforts, strategic game plan and stifling defence to choke off the opposing team.  Enter Mr. Liew to close the loopholes with his basketball doctrines, and less than a year later we managed to get our hands proudly on the coveted trophy.  After ten years of hiatus, the CAGERS were back in reckoning, all thanks to Q-4-G.
It is easy to belittle the helps received, claiming that a win was always on the radar with Mr. Liew guiding the team even without the huge amount of financial helps and other forms of support the team claimed to need.  Here are my arguments to counter this perception; this was a team that has not won in ten years, we lacked confidence, we were fragile.  There was this powerful desire in each of us to win, at the same time the pressure was so great we could have easily caved in.  Mr. Liew recognized this as one of the main hurdle, and his way of getting us to leap over it was to give us game exposures in the form of friendly matches and instil physical and mental toughness through training camps.  Both of these required monetary support.  None of these were carried out extensively in the years before he came, and perhaps it was no coincidence that the team could go nowhere when they competed in real tourney.  In any case, this was also the time when basketball was not anymore deemed as an alien sport to many.  Schools all over the country have taken up basketball and even though its standard has not increased by that much since the last decade, the number of quality competitors has grown.  We could no longer expect to win the PHT only by beating one or two teams like before.  This again emphasizes the importance of friendly games, from which we could gauge our own ability and that of the potential opponents.  All in all, the win in 2004 could never be achieved with the absence of extra hands lent to Mr. Liew.  The same applies for the subsequent years, but the point of addressing this early on is to emphasize the extra support needed by CAGERS ’04 because of the added pressure.
Moving on to 2005, the team this year was not as talented as in the year before, but we were better equipped for the fact that we had been under the watchful eyes of Mr. Liew for well over a year.  As a result, we sailed through most of the tournaments that we entered, capped of course by the second consecutive PHT, 10th overall.  This year also saw Mr. Liew making his first move of injecting a junior player into the main team, a decision which would prove crucial in the coming years.  It thus could be seen that the man did not only plot his strategies for the success of the present team, but he also kept his eyes fixed to the future, concerned that the departure of senior players would leave a void too big to fill.  He believes that a player does not have to wait until he gets into a senior year to get ready, that the hard work to get into the first team starts much earlier.  As in the previous year, the team in 2005 had a number of trips and training camps, and Mr. Liew would ensure that deserving juniors would get on board to join the team whenever possible.
I was the captain of the team this year, and that allowed me to having direct communication with that man that we owed victory to fairly often.  I have to say that while his effort in turning us the bunch of average basketball players into perennial winners was impressive, it is the moral, the impact that he has in each of us outside the basketball sphere that strikes me most.  You see, he used to tell us when he first took over the team that even if he cannot make us good basketball players, at least he would try to help us become good, well-mannered individuals through his teachings.  That, for him is far more important than winning the PHT.  Being a top scorer or a superb defender on the basketball court alone does not impress him; one better equips himself with self-discipline and sound academic records to earn his respect.  Above all that, one also has to have the right attitude and learn to respect before demanding for any.  It is not so surprising then that all those who have been under him are doing okay in our post-college life, and frequently pay him a visit whenever we have a chance to as a sign of our long-lasting respect and gratitude for him.  I do not know about the rest of my teammates, but the life’s lessons that Mr. Liew had passed are still important to me, his words from all those years still serve as a motivator.  For that I would forever be grateful to him.
I left college in 2005, which means that I was no longer involved directly with Q-4-G since.  I did get the chance to join the team as a supporter in Kuantan in 2006 and watch cheerfully as they seized the third consecutive PHT in style, winning the final game with a record-breaking 44-point margin.  Mr. Liew went on to lead the CAGERS to win the Cup in 2007 and 2008; the latter ensures our fifth straight victory and supposedly wrapped up the Q-4-G.  In the end the ultimate goal has been achieved, but that certainly was not without hitches and glitches along the way.  Many have been staunch supporters of the project but still a few were opposing; I guess you cannot simply keep every mouth shut and try to please everybody. Ultimately, the record is there to speak for itself, a sign to the naysayers of who wins.  
The actions on the background have undoubtedly been crucial, but the efforts put in by the CAGERS cannot be simply overlooked.  One might claim that the superiority of Mr. Liew’s coaching and helps channelled by the old boys were all they needed to ensure victory, but ultimately the puzzle would not be completed if not for the action and aspiration of the boys, players who have complete control of the basketball on court.  This becomes more important as trophy after trophy have been won, when self-complacency kicked in and winning no longer took a hard-fought effort but seemed more like a routine.  Faced by such circumstance, it is easy to lose focus and turn cocky.  How many times have you heard of great teams losing their games only because they lack respect for the opposing teams? As such, credits must go to our players for keeping their composure when they could have easily gone bragging.  The influence of Mr. Liew must also not be forgotten; surely in between practices he had taken time to remind the boys about the importance of being humble and respect towards the opponents.
It is with a sad symphony that Q-4-G has to come to a close after more than five successful years of nurturing young, naive kids to become strong minds.  There is no way to measure the impact of this project on each of us objectively, no way to gauge our attachment to it beyond the personal pleasure of winning the PHT.  It is especially hard to convince the outsiders, those who do not embrace the concept of learning and winning, of the importance of this project and to picture our hope for such effort to carry on.  You are wrong if you say that all the efforts are for sake of winning PHT.  The aims of Q-4-G spread way beyond that.  Glory, in essence, does not have to be only about winning or losing.  Though I dread for the moment to come, I believe that sooner or later the trophy will be lost.  So long as we have Q-4-G, at least when that happens we can say with pride that we have tried all our might.  More important, we have passed the lessons and shown enough values for the kids who will move on to their next phase of life.  We who have had the experience owe them those lessons, and hopefully their generation will later pass it on to our child.
It is almost impossible to gather the whole list of persons we should be thankful for, so perhaps it is only fair not to mention anyone in particular.  Nevertheless few names are so important in bringing about the success that it is impossible to ignore; they are Mr. Liew, the head coach, whom through his teachings has also become a father to many of us, Bro Ise and Kak Ana, without whom there would not be any Q-4-G at all, pure and simple, and Bro Azmi, who sticks with the team through thick and thin.  Thanks also to the many individuals who have contributed in so many different ways, especially the old boys.  Your effort and kindness have no match.  I hope that wherever you are, God will always bless you.
Ten, twenty years from now hopefully people would still be talking about Q-4-G.  We would gather and tell each other of how valuable the project had been, and perhaps plot on our next move on how we can best help the team.  Q-4-G should continue, it has to continue.  The lessons and experiences have to be passed on. 

Preparing for the Cameron Trip.

The Cagers are preparing for the Perak Open U15 tournament this weekend in Cameron Highland.  The U15 will have their opportunity to play after the MC U15 Invitation was postponed to next year.  They will play a total of 5 games from 13 - 18 Nov 2009.  The only worry is whether they can get acclimatise to the cold weather in Cameron quickly.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Update on Cagers

Cagers U14 forfeited the remaining 2 games last weekend due to eye infection.  5 Form 2 Cagers were down with eyes infections, thus Sir had to give walkover to the opponents.  Too bad for the U14.  They will participate, together with the Form 3s, in the Perak U15 tournament in Cameron Highland in Nov 09.

Meanwhile, the Form 3s are catching up on their stamina training.  They are allowed to train every morning till 10 am.  They are preparing for the SBP 3-on-3 in Cyberjaya on 31st Oct, then the Perak U15 tournament in Cameron Highland.  That would be a good replacement for not having the opportunity to defend the Board of Governors Trophy (MC U15 invitation) this year.

The rest of the Cagers will be having the Final exam, all the best and good luck. Please make sure not to spend any more time under the tree!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Cagers U14 in action

Cagers U14 participated in their first tournament, Taiping U14. 10 Form 2s and 2 Form 1s were selected to represent Cagers.  They played their first game this afternoon against team Simpang.  2 main players; Azmi, the Captain and Azim, the Center didn't play due to eyes infection.  The shorthanded Cagers played well to contain the Simpang team in the first half.  They were trailing by 2 points after the 1st quarter and 5 points at the half.

Simpang team overwhelmed the inexperienced Cagers in the second half.  The Cagers were spent force in the last quarter and lost 40 - 70 to Simpang.  Overall, the Cagers played well, considering this was the first game for them as Cagers.  Farhan, the First Former, was selected as the MVP for Cagers.  Well done!

Cagers U14 won their first game, beating KSK DUN Aulong team 62 - 45.  Overall, the team played well.  They managed to hit several 3-pointers.  Their third game against the defending champion.  Hopefully they can 'kalah bermaruah'.

Updates: Cagers lost the 3rd game in the tournament. 26 - 79 to the defending champion.  The cagers however, managed to surprise their opponent by playing tough in the first quarter to lose 13 - 16.  The second team was overwhelmed by the opponents in the second quarter. Lack of game experience and stamina was too obvious, thus the big losing margin.