Sri Lanka (SL) played their third match in the U16 SABA Basketball Championship 2019 against hosts Bangladesh (BAN). The home team drowned in defeat as the islanders recorded their hat-trick win, 42-70 at full time.
Sri Lanka, winning the jump-ball, started the game off with a three-pointer. Unlike the previous two games, both teams were equally matched in all departments. SL not having the luxury to penetrate through the opposition defense had to settle to opt for shots outside the arc.
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For the first time in the tournament, SL was tested in this aspect in a much larger ratio and the performance was satisfactory. Lankans added 19 points to the first quarter in reply to the 09 points of the home team. The difference between the two teams was the defense. Adopting a man-to-man tight defensive strategy, SL made sure they halted the Bangladeshi offensive possessions.
Sri Lanka had their precedent over rebounds in the starting two matches with the height advantage, but, the Bangladeshi boys made life harder.
Stepping into the second quarter, SL lacked rebounds in the defensive aspects which created many chances for the opposition to score and cut the deficit. BAN employed a tight full-court press for the majority of the minutes during the second quarter which helped reduce the leakage of points.
Match Replay (Video Credits: NE Sports)
The Lankans were able to draw a considerable number of fouls which they converted into points at the FT line. It aided the islanders to make-up the points that they missed out due to the full-court defensive ploy.
Half Time: Sri Lanka – 35 Bangladesh – 19
Bangladesh started off the second half continuing the same defensive plan hoping it would shift the game over to their side. Unfortunately for them, after the ten-minute break, SL used their fast pace game to break-through and score ably.
Sri Lanka banking on the early lead, played their brand of basketball sticking to the basics and ticking off the score-board point by point. BAN did score, but, simultaneously they were leaking points.
Rebounds were in an equal level through-out the game and the difference were created when BAN failed to handle pressure and was forced into making crucial turn-overs. The home team also missed out on a large number of free-throws which stopped them from getting the score-board lead.
Sri Lanka dominating the game with a robust performance remains unbeaten in the tournament and will play India in the final game tomorrow, 5th July. If Sri Lanka beats India, the country will be placed as the qualifying team from South Asia for the FIBA Asia U16 Championship 2019.
Full time: Sri Lanka – 70 Bangladesh – 42
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