The FIBA 3×3 Men`s World Cup hit the streets on the 17th of June and will go on till the 21stof June. Sri Lanka played their first two group matches on the 18th of June; first against Ukraine and the second against Estonia. The second two were played against Qatar and Poland on 20th June 2017.
Sri Lanka is drafted in pool C alongside Ukraine, Estonia, Qatar and Poland. The top two teams of each pool will qualify into the quarter-finals. Sri Lanka lost the first match to Ukraine 21-09 while the Estonia beat Sri Lanka in the second match 21-02.
Sri Lanka v Qatar
Sri Lanka came into the game having lost the first couple of games. Qatar on the other hand stepped inside with all guns blazing with the motive of winning the game and securing their quarter-final spot.
Thimothi Nithushan had the first check for Sri Lanka but failed to convert in the inside. Sri Lanka depicted improvements in both defense and rebounds but not for long as they lost the plot half way down.
Both teams took their own sweet time to draw first blood, as the game remained scoreless for the first two and a half minutes. It was Qatar who scored first with a slam-dunk. Roshan Randima went on to score first for the islanders as he penetrated through while the other couple of points came from Isuru Perera from one free-throw and a mid-range jumper.
Sri Lanka was outclassed by the height but the islanders were on point with the double team defense ploys and boxing out rebound strategies inside the first three minutes, unfortunately, they lost it halfway. Qatar`s shooting was not on point as they took time to settle in but once they were they made sure the rotation of the ball is quick and the shot selection was on point.
Qatar kept on building momentum and Sri Lanka was off the game once the lead started building up, missing rebounds and quick passes.
Full Time: Qatar – 20 Sri Lanka – 04
Sri Lanka v Poland
It was game for pride for both teams as the top two slots of the pool were booked by Ukraine and Qatar. Sri Lanka got on to a good start scoring and maintaining momentum. Sri Lanka was trailing the game by a point as the scores read 4-5 with seven minutes remaining on the clock.
Once again, as the other three games the height factor was not in the favour of Sri Lanka. Rebounds and blocking were topped by Poland. Even though penetrating was a tough ask for the islanders, Sri Lanka played well cruising through the free lanes.
Poland outsmarted Sri Lanka in quick ball passing and quick movement in and out of the perimeter. Poland`s switch from offense to defense and positioning was on point as they were quick to move around and create gaps for them to score and guard the free lanes when Sri Lanka was in offense.
Even though Sri Lanka ticked the scoreboard often, back-to-back scoring from Poland took the game away from the Lankans.
Full Time: Poland – 22 Sri Lanka – 10
With the loss Sri Lanka will bid adieu to their World Cup ride having lost four out of four games and ranked last in Pool C.
Even though Sri Lanka lost all their group matches, ended last in their pool, it was the maiden time Sri Lanka participated in the world cup. In the team that represented the islanders, except for Roshan Randima who was a part of the world tour in 2012, for the rest of team members it was the first time going head-to-head with the world heavyweights. What matters is the experience the players gained and how the Sri Lanka basketball administration will convert this experience to a winning combination and to be at a better position next time. It`s a process that has to be built so it will be an interesting phase for Sri Lanka Basketball as a whole on how this process will affect the future of the sport.