Behind the stellar 2nd half Sri Lanka defeated Hong Kong 75-49 in the 3rd place play-off at the 11th Asian Youth Netball Championship 2019 played at the Kashima Sports Center, Japan.
Sri Lanka were beaten 72-54 by Malaysia while Hong Kong lost 62-36 to Singapore in the semi-finals.
It was a tight game in the first two quarters with little to differentiate between the two teams. Both sides traded goals in the early going before Sri Lanka took a 2 goals lead at 9-7. It was soon wiped off by Hong Kong at 9-9. At the end of the 1st quarter Sri Lanka led 17-16.
A good start to the 2nd quarter saw Hong Kong 19-21 lead and managed to keep it till the last couple of minutes in the of the quarter. Sri Lanka equalized at 30-30 but once again Hong Kong took a 2-point lead. In a 1st half where the pendulum swung back and forth it was Sri Lanka who went into half time leading 34-33 (17-17).
After the half time break Head Coach Malindu Kumari Gamage replaced skipper and goalkeeper Tharushi Illangarathna with Ganya Senanayake which turned the game in Sri Lanka’s favour. Ganya defended and intercepted a number of attacks and together with Aneesha Perera and Vishmika Rathnayake put a lid on the Hong Kong scoring.
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This defensive effort saw Sri Lanka going on 4-0 (33-38), 5-0 (47-36) and 9-0 (56-37) runs, building up a 19-point lead even before the quarter ended. The game changing 3rd quarter ended 59-40 (25-07).
Sri Lanka continued the momentum out scoring Hong Kong 16-09 in the 4th and final quarter to win 75-49. With the 3rd place finish, Sri Lanka qualified for the 2021 Netball World Youth Cup in Fiji.
Malaysia defeated the defending champs Singapore 57-48 to become the champions. Thailand finished 5th defeating Brunei 47-43 and Chinese Taipei crushed Nepal 67-16 to finish in 7th place. India, Japan and South Korea finished in 9th, 10th & 11th place respectively.