We left for Bangkok with high expectations – 7th is no walk in the park; this would equal the highest position GIS has ever reached in Girls Basketball SEASAC.
Like a typical Garden Dragons squad, we started on the wrong foot. After an excruciating thrashing from CDNIS, a very beautiful own basket made by our lovely Clarissa and several ‘quiet’ speeches by Mr. Springall, we upped our intensity in the game we knew would be the most painful – versus UWC Dover. The score line was gut-wrenching but it was clear that our performance had improved drastically. We ended the game with a memorable quarter where Sonia S sacrificed her kit and game time, allowing Robyn to take up the generous offer made by the UWC coaches which permitted her to play against them. Our very own Molly B represented GIS in the three-point challenge and blew her competitors out of the water by snagging third place and winning the much-coveted price of ‘champion chips’! The day came to a pleasant end, with us beating our neighbourhood rivals MKIS, aggressive Sonia Lee making her annual appearance, a trip to the shopping mall and the most innocent member of our team, baby Sarah Comber, almost getting caught in H&M for accidental shop-lifting.
Our slow start on the first day of SEASAC put us under pressure on the second day to perform our best against the mystery team, UWC East. With the help of the energy gels and powders sponsored by “Horley’s” (thank you Jojo, you business woman, for finding them) and motivated by the pressure we were under, we started the day with a fortunate twist in events as we decisively won against UWC East, though at the cost of the unfortunate twist in Su Yen’s ankle. We lost our next game to Patana and in a very tight match, lost to the home team RIS in play-offs. We were initially disappointed by how close we were to reaching the plate final but our performance that day had been brilliant, leaving us satisfied with our play but hungry for the position of 7th. The second day ended with Sarah (Yr13) coming 4th out of 25 players in the SEASAC Bump/Killer competition and our second youngest player, Sarah Comber, winning MVP at the gala dinner.
And just like that the four days abroad, the three days of playing and the two terms of training came down to one game, the last one four of us would ever play as a Dragons team member. And things did not start well. We were down by 8 points at the end of the first quarter against ISY; unsure as to whether we could win. After another motivational talk by Mr. Springall, a change in defence and several quick baskets, we regained our confidence and stole the rest of the match. The game concluded with the three year 13’s on court, playing the last 30 seconds almost in tears and the tournament ended with us winning the position we had targeted, 7th, and surprisingly the award for best sportsmanship.
Pulling up back at the GIS campus was sudden confirmation that the trip was over. The SEASAC bubble we had lived in for four days had finally burst. There would be no more girls bonding time at Molly S’s room, no more buying matching tops and accessories, no more inspirational talks by Mr. Springall and Ms. McGlinchey. There was no avoiding it anymore – SEASAC was officially over. For several of us, it was over for good. So yes, eyes were red, tears were shed and members of the male population made stealthy exits from the school carpark as we bade each other goodbye for the first time in four days. It felt as if we were parting forever.
We obviously were not. The sight of each other in school the next day was almost startling and it was comforting to know that we had one another at least for the next few months. But whether we see each other every day for the rest of our lives or never again, the impact we made on one another will be something we will never erase, nor desire to.