The Senior National basketball tournament continued last evening as Navy faced off against Gampaha District in a game that went down to the wire; Navy just managed to outscore the Gampaha team with a score of 66 to 56.
The game started off fast with the Navy not wasting any time in converting the jump ball to the first basket of the game whilst the team from Gampaha played a slower more strategic game, relying heavily on assists to score. The players were ready to compromise on the glory of getting the shot to pass to the open man and secure points instead. Whilst both teams employed a zone defence, the Navy team found it especially hard to penetrate as they scored mainly through fast breaks resulting in them trailing by 10 into the second quarter.
First-Quarter: Navy- 08 Gampaha District- 18
The second quarter started off with Navy switching to a half-court press which proved to be effective as they caught up to Gampaha in the very first couple minutes. Uwgram Rajakaruna from the Navy made a crucial difference to the game by collecting all the rebounds putting his height to good use. Although the Navy team had caught up, it was the Gampaha team that went into lemons leading by 3.
With the senior nationals basketball championship commencing on the 3rd of February to 18th February we give you a chance to select your favorite team….
Second-Quarter: Navy- 29 Gampaha District- 32
The second half saw an overhaul of the defensive strategies of both teams as they both brought their ‘A’ game and very few baskets were scored during this quarter. It was once again Uwgram Rajakaruna from Navy that made the crucial difference to the game as he rebounded all the shots that didn’t hit the mark and added enough points on the board for Navy to take control of the game as they went into the final 10 minutes.
Third-Quarter: Navy- 45 Gampaha District- 41
The final few minutes weren’t the best for the Gampaha team as they began to lose the plot of the game as Navy steadily increased their lead. After obtaining the first substantial lead the game saw, the Navy team was adamant to maintain it as they went into a full court press. The Gampaha District team was looking to cover up the deficit from beyond the perimeter although none of these attempts were successful. It was a tight game all the way but a game-deciding technical foul was awarded to the Navy team and they secured their victory as the deficit was too large to cover in the last 20 seconds for Gampaha.
Fourth-Quarter: Navy- 66 Gampaha District- 56
The coach of the winning team had this to say speaking to ThePapare representatives: “I’m really happy about our win because we could only get in 2 weeks of practice since we didn’t have a court. I’m quite impressed with the game we played with that little practice.”