Tactics pay off as ACS(I) make it three in a row

SINGAPORE - Having won the previous two Schools National Squash Championships A Division titles, the boys of Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) carried on the streak yesterday when they saw off Raffles Institution (RI) 3-2 at Kallang Squash and Tennis Centre.

Captain Nishan Ravi Nekoo and Pang Ka Hoe got the team off to a perfect start when they defeated their opponents for a 2-0 lead, before Raffles' Rayden Tan - a national junior player - pulled one back in the third match against Ian Thong.

Any hope of a RI comeback was halted with Benedict Chan's 11-1, 11-2, 11-4 victory over Ian Liew in the fourth game. RI's national youth player Timothy Leong took the last match to end the final at 3-2.

ACS(I) boasted national junior elite squad members in Ka Hoe and Benedict, while Nishan is also a Malaysia junior squash player.

Benedict credited the win to a more focused training regime.

The 17-year-old said: "After last year, we upped the intensity and focused on specifics."

Coach Benson Seow revealed that the plan was for Ka Hoe and Benedict to avoid RI's top two players Rayden and Timothy, and the gamble in placing them second and fourth paid off with Rayden playing third and Timothy playing the fifth match.

It was the same that RI had hoped for, but the first match ultimately crushed RI's plan. Coach Allan Chang said: "We banked on our first player Sean Lim to win, but it was tough as Nishan is very good. That was the turning point in the match, and in the end, we lost to a better opponent."

In the third and fourth placing match, Anglo-Chinese Junior College saw off Hwa Chong Institution 3-2.