(ThePapare Basketball Championship 2017, Colombo, Sri Lanka). The matches were shifted to the Air Force Indoor Sports complex due to bad weather that was consistently disrupting the play.

Ananda College (AC) vs Gateway College – Kandy (GCK)

The first match of the day was a close call for the AC against GCK but they managed to grab 7 points win with the final scores reading, 52-59. The top point scorer for Ananda College was Kusal Dissananayke with 19 points. Dineth Ulandupitiya did most of the scoring for Gateway College – Kandy adding 27 points.

The teams were off to a slippery start because of the early rain.  They took time to settle into the conditions. The two teams had very different offensive strategies, GCK did most of their scoring through jump shots while the AC capitalized on their speed to score through fast breaks. The boys from Kandy had a few unfortunate injuries due to their players slipping and falling which made them play a little slower being more cautious of their surroundings. During the final few minutes, GC couldn’t get their jump shots to connect leaving AC in the lead as the final buzzer went off.

Kingswood College – Kandy (KCK) vs De La Salle College (DLS)

KCK went on to beat DLS to secure the first win in the tournament as the final scores read, 49-38. Even though KCK did win the match, it was a nail biting contest as it was the final quarter that decided the winner.  DLS did trail behind closely during the entire match but KCK lads limiting the scoring of the opposition just to five points in the final quarter won the game handsomely.

Photo Album – TPBC17 | Group Stage – Boys | 07.09.2017 | Morning Session 01

Bennet was the key player for KCK scoring 13 points and Thilina Silva scored a dozen points for DLS.

It was the switch to the man-to-man defence by the KCK lads that did the magic. DLS were in control since the first half of the game but did not adapt to defensive strategy of KCK during the second half. The layups dried down due to tje5 heavily packed defence which over-turned the game to KCK.

Maris Stella College – Negombo (MSC) vs Lyceum International School – Wattala (LISW)

LISW took an easy victory against MSC dominating the game throughout as the lads from Negombo only managed to score double digits in one-quarter. It was a one sided affair for LISW with the game ending in favour of Lyceum 59-24. Evangelo Stephen did the heavy scoring for LISW scoring 22 points and MSC skipper Praveen Alwis was the highest point scorer for his team with 7 points.

Photo Album – TPBC17 | Group Stage – Boys | 07.09.2017 | Morning Session 02

MSC players were struggling to score throughout the game rushing a majority of their shots and lost out on many crucial scoring opportunities. LISW on the other hand, played a more collected game capitalizing on fast breaks to score. LISW had no intention of lightening up their defence switching from a half court press and full court press when necessary to take maximum possession of the ball.

Colombo International School Kandy (CISK) vs St. Joseph’s College – Colombo (SJC)

The runner up from last year’s tournament SJC breezed through to victory playing against CISK with the game ending 60-28. Kanidu top scored for CISK with 13 points while Shamin and Panduka Gajamange top scored for SJC with 14 and 13 points respectively.

SJC took control of the game from the very start dominating the court both in both offense and defence. They managed to get through the CISK defence without too much trouble to finish strong near the rim while they also took their chances from beyond the perimeter. The SJC team had the distinct advantage of being able to rotate the entire bench giving enough time for all the players to regain their energy and get back into the game.