RI edge out ACS(I) in A Div boy's badminton final
ACS(I) coach's gamble to reshuffle doubles line-ups fails to pay off
Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) coach Samuel Sim was banking on his calculated risk to pay off in the National Schools boys' A Division badminton final at Toa Payoh Sports Hall yesterday.
To improve their chances of victory, he decided to reshuffle the line-ups in both his doubles pairs ahead of the match against defending champions Raffles Institution (RI).
But little did he expect RI to see through his plan.
When ACS(I)'s first doubles pair lost their match - the second of the best-of-five tie - Sim knew all was gone.
The Rafflesians went on to beat ACS(I) 3-2 to complete a sweet A Division double, with the girls' team also retaining their title by beating River Valley High School (RVHS) 3-2 in the final yesterday.
Sim said: "I tweaked the line-up to avoid pitting my strongest against their strongest and ending up with only a 50-50 (chance of winning).
"I was hoping my first doubles pair could take on RI, (push the game to a decider and) stress RI's last singles player. Anything can happen under stress."
Sim's ploy turned out to be exactly what RI's Indonesian coach Aman Santosa had anticipated.
After all, Sim had also switched his original doubles pairings during their 3-2 win over RVHS in the semi-finals.
I tweaked the line-up to avoid pitting my strongest against their strongest and ending up with only a 50-50 (chance of winning).Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) coach Samuel Sim
"When I saw the line-up, I knew we were going to win," said Aman, who added that his team had already came up with a plan to counter Sim's strategy.
"ACS(I) have strong doubles pairs that they like to split up to strengthen their chances.
"They have done this before so I was expecting it."
RI's Chew Wei Loon beat ACS(I)'s Lu Wei Tian in the first singles match to hand his side the opening point.
Andy Kwek and Neo Wei Jie then beat Sim's reshuffled pair, who both go by the same name of Bryan Tan, to extend RI's lead to 2-0.
But Javiel Lim handed ACS(I) a lifeline after beating Everard Ong, before his teammates Tan Qi En and Peck Ern Wen made it 2-2 with a victory over Amos Khan and Zachary Low.
It then came down to a decider between RI's Suyash Chand and ACS(I)'s Marc Chen.
As Sim had hoped, the pressure got to Suyash initially, but the Year One student eventually managed to find his groove.
Suyash kept his cool and won 2-0 (21-11, 21-13) to ensure a successful title defence for the Rafflesians.
Said Suyash: "At the start, I was a bit nervous.
"But, as the game progressed, I got the momentum and it went my way."
A DIV BOYS:
- 1st: RI
- 2nd: ACS(I)
- 3rd: River Valley High School (RVHS)
- 4th: Anderson JC
A DIV GIRLS:
- 1st: RI
- 2nd: RVHS
- 3rd: Nanyang JC
- 4th: Hwa Chong Institution