The FIBA under 23 3×3 Nations League Basketball Tournament commenced on the 18th of August with Sri Lanka, Hungary, Netherlands, Jordan, Slovenia and the Czech Republic going head to head against each other. As the matches of the fourth stage commenced the young women’s team fared better than the men’s team qualifying to play in the semi-finals of the tournament.
Sri Lanka vs Netherlands
Netherlands started off with a quick jump shot and once again Sri Lanka was running a size disadvantage. Netherlands had the upper hand when it came to agility and collecting rebounds. Netherlands took a quick lead with a few reverse layups while the Sri Lankans failed to enter the D and take shots, forcing them to take jump shots with which they had terrible luck. The Sri Lankan team attempted to reduce the deficit from beyond the perimeter but with little success, Netherlands took their first win of the day.
Full time: Sri Lanka- 4 Netherlands- 22
Sri Lanka 1 vs Jordan
Sri Lanka started off strong with a shot from downtown and played mainly from beyond the perimeter. A couple minutes into the game Jordan turned the tables with a few consecutive shots from under the basket. However, Sri Lanka continued to trail behind closely getting in shots from downtown since going for layups was off the table due to the tight Jordanian defence near the rim.
The game went right down to the wire with the scores tied with just 14 seconds left on the clock, Jordan got a free shot with seconds to go but the Sri Lankan team got a buzzer-beater shot from downtown taking away the Jordanian win and getting Sri Lanka their first win for the day.
Full time: Sri Lanka- 15 Jordan- 14
Sri Lanka 2 vs Hungary
Hungary wasted no time in scoring the first basket while the Sri Lankans were forced out and struggled with the shot clock. Sri Lanka defended the Hungarians well stopping most of their attempts at scoring however they failed to add points for themselves allowing Hungary to maintain their lead. In the final few minutes of the game, Sri Lanka exceeded the foul count giving Hungary numerous opportunities at the line to finish the game. With just a couple seconds to go Hungary scored their final basket taking an easy win leading by 17 points.
Full-time: Sri Lanka- 4 Hungary- 21
Sri Lanka 1 vs the Czech Republic
The Sri Lankans stuck to their strong suit and shot from beyond the perimeter since finishing near the rim was difficult given the size disadvantage they faced. Sri Lanka leads during the first few minutes adding to their score in 2’s. Sri Lanka also had the edge since the Czech Republic had exceeded the foul count giving the Sri Lankans a few opportunities at the line to increase the deficit. Although in the final 2 minutes the players from the Czech Republic managed to catch up with a few free shots and took a shot with 20 seconds to go leaving Sri Lanka with an unfortunate defeat.
Full-time: Sri Lanka-17 Czech Republic-18
The captain of the Sri Lanka 1 women’s team Imesha Thathsarani, had this to say to ThePapare.com after their victory: “We’re really excited that we won. It’s the first time we won a 3×3 match and the first time we’ve won against a European team. It was a tough game playing against a team two times our size but I’m really glad that we managed to win.”
Sri Lanka v Hungary – Semi Final
The game between Sri Lanka and Hungary was continued earlier today with Sri Lanka trailing close behind Hungary. The Sri Lankan team managed to block them outside the D but once they were underneath the ring the Sri Lankans struggled to block the Hungarians who were 2 times their size. Hungary was dominating the D although Sri Lanka managed to stay in the game from beyond the perimeter.
The Hungarians began to take a lead as the Sri Lankan failed to secure rebounds for second shot opportunities. During the final few minutes of the game the Hungarians exceeded the foul count but unfortunately, the Sri Lankan team failed to capitalize on their free shots as Hungary won the first semi-final match by 10 points.
Full-time: Sri Lanka- 11 Hungary- 21
The coach of the Sri Lankan team shared his thoughts with ThePapare.com and had this to say: “This is the first time we’ve made it to a semifinal in a 3×3 tournament and considering the young team we have this is a great opportunity to gain experience and exposure to develop the team we have and win a championship in the years to come.”
Sri Lanka-4 Netherlands-22
Sri Lanka 1-15 Jordan-14
Sri Lanka 2-21 Hungary- 4
Sri Lanka 1-17 Czech Republic- 18
Semi-finals – Sri Lanka- 11 Hungary- 21