For this year’s International Association of Southeast Asian Schools Basketball Championships, the Taipei American School girls basketball team brought home a first place title, becoming back-to-back champions after beating the Singapore American School in the finals with a score of 43-37.
During the round robin, the girls team demonstrated outstanding performances as they showed a record of beating every other school and ranking first seed going into the semifinals against the International School of Bangkok girls team, where they won with the score of 45-25. Despite their a perfect record, the girls team were not completely confident going into the championships. “We were actually very nervous before the finals,” says co-captain Stephanie Wang (‘19). “We knew [the SAS girls’ team] were going to play aggressively against us, and we did not want to repeat what happened in our pre-IASAS games in Hong Kong, where the SAS team beat us.”
“[During the championships game] everyone’s butterflies were gone, and [the team was] able to get in the zone and stay focused,” says Cheyenne Hsieh (‘19), co-captain of the TAS girls team. “In the last quarter, we couldn’t think too much because we knew that the game could still turn around. We just continued to cheer each other on and push till the end.”
Meanwhile, the TAS boys team earned a bronze medal. During the first day of round robin, the team lost three games to ISB (32-57), International School Manila (52-55), and SAS (50-57). However, on the second day, the team turned the tides around as they won their remaining games against Jakarta Intercultural School (57-55) and International School of Kuala Lumpur (69-21), earning a spot in the quarterfinals against JIS. “The team showed great resilience after a tough first day of losses in IASAS and played well as a team the rest of the tournament,” says boys varsity basketball coach Mr. Jordan Brown. After their 68-27 win in the quarterfinals, the team advanced to the semifinals, where they had an unfortunate loss to ISB after an intense match with a close score of 57-53. The team then played in the bronze medal game against SAS (52-46), where the boys team secured their place as bronze medalists.
The captains of the girls and boys team have great confidence for next year’s varsity teams as they hope for both teams to get gold next year. Co-captain Edward Ang (‘18) advises, “Work hard during the offseason and just trust the process!” Co-captain Victor Chang (‘18) likewise says, “Make the most of every practice and game, and trust each other.”
For the girls team, co-captain Catherine Yeh (‘18) says, “Trust the training, [make] it tough or repetitive, and try to not let your coaches sound like broken records. Take advantage of every opportunity to work hard…and continue to cultivate that unique team chemistry. I cannot wait to watch you guys three-peat and continue the legacy!”