Sri Lanka took on Singapore in their third game of the FIBA U18 Asian Championship on Tuesday (15th November 2016) in Bangkok, Thailand. A robust second half performance by Singapore stole the must win game from the islanders as the game ended 50-40 in favour of Singapore.
- Sri Lanka lost their first match to Hong-Kong 87-41
- Sri Lanka lost their second match to Indonesia 73-47
- Singapore lost their first match to Indonesia 75-34
- Singapore lost their second match to Hong-Kong 87-41
Sri Lanka won the jump ball as Manthila Gallasage got a hand to it and passed it on to Dilumi Goonewardena. She took her chance for a mid-range jumper but missed the hoop. The ball was back in her hands for the second chance as Nirma Sasanthi rebounded it. This time Dilumi tried her luck from the perimeter but failed once again.
After two more missed jump-shots from Nirma Sasanthi, it was Singapore who drew first blood in the game with a shot from downtown. Sri Lanka finally connected a shot to tick the scoreboard for a couple of points as Nirma Sasanthi swished the nets in the third minute. Shereen Preena squared the game as she converted one out of her two free-throw attempts in the next possession.
It was a ding-dong battle between the two teams in this must win game. Nirma Sasanthi scored four points in the quarter together with Shereen Preena and Dilumi Goonerwwardene who scored one and two points respectively. Sri Lanka did try out their luck a number of times in the maiden quarter but just could not get their shots through the net. Singapore, who connected 90% of their shots in the first quarter, led the game by five points.
First Quarter: Singapore – 12 Sri Lanka – 07
Sri Lanka opened up the account first in the second quarter as Manthila Gallassage connected from the paint. Both teams continued the momentum from the first quarter as they scored ten a piece for the quarter. It was N. Alifan who scored first for Singapore as she converted a free-throw off Shereen Preena`s shooting foul. The number of missed shots for Sri Lanka in the quarter was higher than Singapore which was why the islanders were trailing the game. Singapore opted for fewer shots but they made sure they connected.
Sri Lanka rebounded well with a total number of 58 rebounds, 38 defensive rebounds and 19 offensive rebounds. Yet as the previous games the conversion rate of these possessions into second chance shots and fast breaks was not up to the mark by Sri Lanka.
Singapore banking on the five-point early lead in the first quarter led the game at the end of the first half.
Half Time: Singapore – 22 Sri Lanka – 17
Singapore scored first after the ten-minute break, extending their lead by two points. Dilumi Goonewardene, etching the defensive rebound, converted into points at the other end as Sri Lanka got the scoreboard ticking.
The burden for Sri Lanka was the leakage of points from the defensive end. Even though Sri Lanka did score points they were unable to defend the Singaporean offense. Just as the previous games, the hustle to the ball was not there with the islanders. Singapore recorded a total number of 18 steals which eventually stopped 18 offensive possessions of Sri Lanka.
Singapore shifting gears in the game scored fifteen points in the quarter in reply to the nine points by Sri Lanka.
Third Quarter: Singapore- 37 Sri Lanka – 26
Sri Lanka opened up the final six hundred seconds as Nirma Sasanthi cut down the deficit by six points, scoring with back to back possessions. The scoreboard read 37-32. J.Choo, getting Singapore back in the game, extended the lead by a couple of points when she scored in the fourth minute of the quarter.
Sri Lanka scored fourteen points in the final quarter in reply to the thirteen points of Singapore however the back to back scoring by J.Chan and T.NG took the game away from Sri Lanka.
If Sri Lanka could have halted a couple of offensive possessions of the opposition, the game could have been theirs to tuck away.
Full Time: Singapore – 50 Sri Lanka – 40
Sri Lanka will play their fourth game of the tournament tomorrow (16th November 2016) against Malaysia at 7.30 am.