In the inaugural battle for the ‘A’ cup — The Pioneers of American Universities in Asia: NYU-Shanghai vs. Yale-NUS on Nov. 1, the Yale-NUS Men’s Basketball Team triumphed with an ending score of 71-69. In an interview with one of the shooting guards, Shaun Tan ’17, discusses the game and his experiences.
When did the basketball team first start training for the game?
At the beginning of the semester, when we officially got our coach. We knew that coming to Shanghai could be a possibility at the start of the semester and we didn’t want to be caught off-guard. We were also practising for IFGs then.
What were your expectations for the game?
Upon seeing their physical height, I was kind of intimidated. Their average height was 6 feet and we were not 6 feet. They were at least a head taller than most of us. From previous exchange with the basketball team, we also thought we were years behind them. It turns out that we were actually pretty close in skill. We were really glad.
How did you feel during the game?
I was feeling quite good after the warm-ups because I was hitting my shots. And I knew that I could trust my team to carry us through. Normally, we would have Coach to look at the other team during their warm-ups and tell us who to watch out for. But this time we were just really focused on ourselves and so we came into the game confident that we could put up a good show. Playing as a team was really important for us. We felt good; warm-ups were good. It really set the tone for the game.
What is your most memorable moment of the trip?
It would have to be the game-winning foul that Zach committed with just 0.07 seconds left in the game. If they did tie the game, Zach was fouled out so there were a lot of mixed feelings. I think we had let them go on a 6-nil run. At one point, we were 6 to 8 points up and then they started catching up. When Zach fouled out, it was crazy because I would have to step back in and there would be more pressure. Zach was also one of our key players and at that point, I was slightly more intimidated. But it all worked out.
Looking forward, what are the basketball team’s plans?
We have a couple of friendlies coming up with a few of the NUS halls. We’re definitely looking forward to ICGs and bringing the basketball trophy back. We’ll get first and second this year. We’re also looking forward to Sebastian and Teck Yuke coming back and just playing together as a team.