The premier basketball tournament in Batticaloa, Herbert Cup wrapped up it`s 2018 edition with some breath-taking basketball played by the teams who competed for the coveted championship. The tournament up held its quality even though the structure was revamped for this year`s edition from clubs to schools.
It was a fitting finale which was set to be played at the Herbert Stadium in St. Michael`s College Batticaloa. Maris Stella College (MSC) did play Angel International School (AIS) in the preliminary round and beat them, but facing them again it was scripted differently.
It was a tight contest from the traditional jump ball start as both the teams were neck to neck on the offensive aspect. It was only a couple of points that marked the difference in the scorecard at end of the maiden quarter. AIS went on to add 16 points while the lads from the western province replied with 14.
The key for AIS was the consistency in scoring that they held on to through-out the game. Even though the deficit in the first quarter was a couple of points, AIS increased it going into lemons up to 05. MSC added 13 points for the second quarter in reply to the northerner`s 18. Scores at half time read, 34-27.
Even though AIS did step into second half on the edge of a 07-point lead, both teams seemed to have had revitalized their game plans. Both the third and fourth quarter were marked as a heavy scoring twenty minutes.
went on to add 20 points each in both quarters. AIS replied with 23 points for the third and 22 points for the final quarter. Even though MSC was always in the chase, the little lead AIS enjoyed finally bought them victory at the end of the final whistle. Full time scores read, 79-67.
Assistant Coach of Maris Stella College, Anton Dinesh speaking to ThePapare.com on the tense final said;
“It was a good match with good competition. We played them earlier and defeated them by 15 points. They were well prepared and they exploited our weakness in far more greater manner in the final. Our shooting percentage was on a low-level and it was why they were always ahead of us by a couple of points and that converted the game into a tough one”.
The third-place match was set to play between the hosts, St. Michael`s College and Zahira College. Playing with home advantage, St. Michael`s College cruised through to victory at the end of play, 76-58.
Chenura Alwis who scored 09 points for Maris Stella College bagged a couple of awards; the best offensive player and the highest scorer. The best defensive player award was bagged by Simran from Angel International School. Sajinthiram was judged the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the final.