I went to school early in the morning with a very positive mind set. Had all the time to myself in the bus during our long journey from Melawati to Rawang for the basketball tournament. I only thought of how much I really wanted to win the championship. At 9am, while waiting for my teams turn to play, we stretched together and set our game play. Then finally, the time has come. It was our first of two group matches and we ended up being drawn in the same group with SMK Kepong. This team defeated Melawati last year during the 3rd placing match by a single point. I still remember the moment when the final buzzer rang and with so much sadness I fell to the ground because I almost had a medal around my neck. Plus, we have to win both group match in order to qualify for the next round and also 11/12 of the players in Team Melawati are seniors. So this game meant a lot to the team, teachers and the coach. Back to reality, I prayed to Allah asking Him to guide my team to victory. I thought to myself about all the blood, sweat and tears sacrificed for the past 5 years. It was then tip-off, me, Azwad, Prem, Ooi and Prakkash were the starting line-up. I commited 2 turnovers in 2 straight possession which lead Kepong to score. I didnt feel right mentally and wanted to be substituted after just playing for 3 minutes. Throughout the next 6 minutes of game play, it was clear that I was not performing at my best. I did some unnecessary foul, didnt guard my man and sloppy passes. Although Melawati was at times down by up to 6 points, we fought back and tried to shorten the gap. Fast forward to the last minute, Melawati was down by 5 points, it was our possession. Before starting our offense, I told Azwad and Zuhairi that I wanted to shoot a 3 pointer. Zuhairi did a long cross court pass, Azwad recieved the ball and did a pump-fake and then pass the ball to me. I was at the 45 degree angle just behind the arc, there was no one guarding me and so I shot the ball and it went in. I remember the crowd starting to cheer even louder and I knew that time wasnt on my side and I had to react quickly. I reacted by shouting “Full-court press!”. Kepong started their offense but their ball was stolen by Azwad and he went straight for the easy basket but unfortunately it didnt go in but we did manage to grab the rebound and started a new offence. My centre at that moment, Khairul was at the top of the arc like a point guard holding the ball. I knew at that moment that Melawati was just down by 2 points and there should only be about 10 seconds left on the clock and so I asked for the basketball and shot another 3 pointer from the same spot. It felt as if forever for the ball to either go in the hoop or not. All eyes were on the ball while it was slowly spinning in mid-air. It didnt go in, it bounced off the rim… They grabbed the rebound and the final buzzer rang. History repeats as I fell to the ground the same way I did last year. I admit that there were tears, even Zuhairi cried. We wanted to win very badly. I put my arms around my basketball teacher, Pn. Chong and said that I was sorry that Melawati couldnt achieve any top spot during this senior year. She was emotional too and said “Its okay Elya, we kalah this game but you have made me very happy. Dalam hati saya, kita menang. I am proud of you.”. Since it was only the first round, it was a 2 half ( 7 minutes each half) game format, the result was Kepong 25 - Melawati 23. We won the 2nd game but it didnt mean that much for us. On our way back to school, Puan Chong did a very touching speech mentioning each and every individual. This is what she had to say about me “Elya, I’ve known you since form 1 and last year after whatever happened to your arm, you said you wanted to stop playing basketball but you gave your commitment and still continued playing until your senior year. What you and the team did today was really good. Thank you”. After she finished her speech, I got up to shook her hand and gave her a hug. She can get very annoying at times but if you stay around, you’ll see that she is a nice person. So, I didnt win any championship for my school during my 4 years representing Melawati. But I wasnt a failure. Of course the pain of loosing will always be there but this will only motivate me to be a better person. It may be too soon for me to say that I accept the defeat but I have no regrets. I am very proud of my team and no one can ever take away our pride.