As another day of the senior nationals was worked off at the Police park basketball court, the first match for the day between the Army and the Police teams was postponed due to bad weather. After the rain subsided the next two matches between MSBA (Girls) vs Air Force (Girls) and Colombo District vs Navy were played out. MSBA and Colombo District were the victors for the day.
Mercantile Services BA vs Air Force
It took a while for both teams to get their heads into the game as they took it slow, with neither team scoring for the first couple minutes but it started to rain 3’s in the minutes that followed as both teams scored from downtown. Rarely did either team attempt to drive in to finish near the rim. The MSBA team did a good job at identifying the weak spots of the opponents defence and exploiting it to score while at the same time maintained an effective man to man defence giving them control of the game as they broke for half time.
Half-time: MSBA-28 Air Force- 16
As the second half began, MSBA kept up the same game they were playing whilst the Air Force team began to slow down and let the deficit get larger. The MSBA team switched up their offensive strategy to start driving in to score while the Air Force team didn’t and all their jump shots just rolled off the ring. Although victory seemed to be assured for MSBA they didn’t let up for a second as they kept up the tight defence not allowing their opponents to score.
The game ended the same way it began as the final few minutes witnessed both teams getting in shots from beyond the perimeter but this wasn’t enough for the Air Force team as the deficit from the previous quarters still haunted them. MSBA won the match.
Full-time: MSBA-63 Air Force-46
Navy vs Colombo District
Right from the beginning, it was apparent how equally matched the two teams were and how it was going to be an intense game as both teams struggled to score through their opponents man to man defence. For a majority of the first half, the score was always either tied or one team was leading by just a mere basket as both teams fought hard to take control of the game.
Coming towards the end of the first half, the game could have gone either way as both teams were under pressure.
It was Navy who finally took the lead as they went into lemons albeit a lead of mere 3 points.
Half-time: Navy-31 Colombo District- 28
The experience of both teams was seen as the second half started with both teams relying heavily on assists and using strategic offensive plays to score. Both the teams had a very tight defence when it came to the area near the ring not letting any player take a layup. Going into the final 10 minutes of the game, Colombo was leading only by 1 point resulting in a nervous final quarter as it still could have been anyone’s game.
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The scores were tied most of the time in the last few minutes of the game as well, but Colombo had a couple free shots they took advantage of giving them the momentum to score a couple baskets more than the Navy team. The Navy team scored a few 3 pointers in the last couple minutes but by this time it was too late to turn the tables on Colombo as time wasn’t in their favour.
Full-time: Navy-55 Colombo District-62
Thoughts of the Colombo District coach about this close match was as follows: “The Navy team definitely gave a good fight as expected of them with such experienced players, but I believe we had too many mistakes on the court. Our defence was too relaxed not marking the 3 point shooters and we had too many fouls resulting in the match becoming closer than expected.”