Competition is gradually heating up at the men's basketball competition of the 2016 Singapore National Games (SNG) as teams make their way into the second round after a week of gameplay.
To some teams such as Siglap Basketball Club, Xin Hua Sports Club and Jalan Kayu Community Sports Club, participating in the Games serve as a warm-up for their players - a prelude to the upcoming National Basketball League (NBL), which is organized and sanctioned by the Basketball Association of Singapore.
Lim Shengyu (right) of Siglap Basketball Club shoots the ball against Jalan Kayu CSC during the basketball competition of the Singapore National Games at Clementi Sports Hall. Photo: Sport Singapore
While the prestige of the SNG pales in comparison with the NBL, the level of competition was comparable, especially with the presence of national cagers Lim Shengyu and Wu Qingde, who are prominent leaders of Siglap and Jalan Kayu respectively.
“It’s a great platform for any team to get together and get some games going,” said Lim.
“My team, Siglap, is maximising our opportunity here to test our new players and work out some of the kinks that we want to focus on and hopefully through this tournament, we’ll be more ready than we ever were for the upcoming Division One.”
Besides the NBL, both Lim and Wu are also probable inclusions in the Singapore Slingers squad for the upcoming Merlion Cup, which is returning to Singapore after a 20-year hiatus.
The Games also featured up and coming young teams such as Kai Xuan Basketball Club and Oldham, both of which boast several national youth players as well.
Kelvin Frany (left) of Oldham taking on Tampines East CSC during the competition. Photo: Sport Singapore
Despite a comparative lack of experience, the Games provided these young teams with a platform to be pit themselves against their senior counterparts, which does not happen often in the fraternity.
Oldham's Kelvin Frany was one of those who relished the opportunity to gain experience.
“To me, the level of competition is quite high and from the games that we’ve played this far, I think I’ve gained a lot of experience,” said Frany.
“We played with different kinds of teams - there were teams that were really fast and there were teams that are not fast but very experienced in terms of their playing style.
“That gave me a lot of experience and it will really help me improve as a player and in basketball.”
Zhou Zhen Qiang (left) of Jalan Kayu CSC taking a shot. Photo: Sport Singapore
The young Oldham team was formed with a core of Anglo-Chinese School players and according to Frany, the team used the Games as a platform to get “more bonded and know each other better on court.”
“Off the court, we spend more time together because of this competition that got us together,” added the 18-year-old, who is a proud silver medalist with the combined schools team that represented Singapore at the recent ASEAN School Games in Thailand.
Catch your fellow Singaporeans competing in over
, at the Singapore National Games 2016 from now till 7 August!