(Inter-University Basketball Championship 2017, Kandy, Sri Lanka) The University of Sri Jayewardenepura swept both the women’s and men’s categories clean, winning both championships.
Men’s Final: University of Sri Jayewardenepura (UoSJ) v University of Colombo (UoC)
UoSJ advanced to the finals beating University of Peradeniya 55-21 in the semi-final while UoC beat University of Moratuwa 57-48 in their respective semi-final.
UoSJ had first possession after the traditional jump-ball start and it was a tight contest inside the first couple of minutes as the scores read 03 all as both teams made their fair share of unforced errors. Neither team was consistent in executing their offensive and defensive plans.
It was the first quarter lead of 14-09 that helped UoSJ to be ahead of the game during lemons. Lahiru Perera kept scoring in the first quarter, but he was slowed down due to a tight zonal defense by UoC in the second quarter. Even though UoC were able to cut down the deficit and slow down the scoring rate, the early lead helped UoSJ to head into half time leading, 27-22.
Going into the third quarter of the game, UoSJ switched to a full court man-to-man defense. Even though UoSJ did extend their lead to 14 points at one point, UoC fought back and reduced the deficit to just five points by the end of the quarter.
With Jeewantha Jayarathne of UoC being fouled out it was an easy run for the J`pura lads in the final quarter. Lahiru Perera scored 30 points for UoSJ while Sanju Dilanka also contributed 22 points. Ruchira Ayeshmantha top scored for UoC with 19 points. UoSJ won the championship beating UoC 97-61 at full time.
Women’s Final: University of Sri Jayewardenepura (UoSJ) v University of Colombo (UoC)
UoSJ went on to beat University of Jaffna in the semi-final 62-41 while UoC went on to beat University of Uva 27-21 in the second semi-final.
UoSJ walked in to the game as the favorites and lived up to expectations in the maiden quarter. UoSJ led the game 14-0 at one point inside the first five minutes and closed down the quarter with a ten point lead, 17-7. UoSJ possessed the height advantage which helped them to dominate the rebounds in both the offensive and defensive aspects.
UoC fell into foul trouble as point-guard Keyasha Siriwardhana had four under her name, which forced the coach to seat her on the bench. Rattling the game plan of UoC, UoSJ led the game 41-25 going into lemons.
Even though UoC did make inroads into the game, their lack of rebounds and not being able to convert the second chance points hurt them at the final whistle. Coming into the final buzzer, the score board read, 66-57 in favor of UoSJ.