(ThePapare Basketball Championship 2017, Colombo, Sri Lanka). Asian International School – Colombo and St. Benedicts College – Kotahena secured their first wins against S. Thomas` College – Mount-Lavinia and De Mazenod College – Kandana respectively.
St. Benedict`s College (Bens) vs De Mazenod College – Kandana (DMC)
Bens tapped the jump ball to gain first possession of the game. They went on to draw first blood and scored a couple more since DMC took time to settle themselves into the game. In the latter part of the first quarter, DMC got themselves back in the game as Chalitha Saparamadu and Manilka Fernando upped the rate from downtown. The first quarter closed with an equal scorecard of 17 all. Even though Bens did implement full court defensive strategies, their passes were intercepted during their offense which caused a heavy number of turnovers. DMC led the game by three points at HT.
Bens revamping strategies shifted from full court press to man-to-man which prevented the opposition from scoring. While they stopped the scoring of the opposition, Bens made sure they kept on ticking their respective score board. Pressure building, DMC was unable to stop the leakage of points. Even though DMC did score points via back to back fast breaks during the final minutes, it was not enough to tuck the game away in the pocket. Scores read, 74-51 at full time putting St. Benedict’s College in the winning seat.
Asian International School (AIS) vs S. Thomas` College – Mount Lavinia (STC)
AIS opened the account first in the match with Joel Perera top scoring in the first quarter with 05 points for AIS. STC seemed unsettled as they lacked the touch of rebounds and converting the possessions into points. It was the passing around the perimeter that created gaps for AIS to penetrate through and score. To add on more pressure, AIS switched to full court press in the first half of the game itself and went on to lead the game by six points into half time, 16-10.
STC too went into a full court press during the second half of the game to stop the leakage of points. STC did get back their touch in grabbing the rebounds, but unfortunately their second chances felt short. Both Abdul Rahaman and Joel Perera scored 09 points each for AIS while Arnold Brent scored 16 points. For STC the top sorcerers were Aron Fernando who scored 14 points and Yasiru Benaragama scoring 11 points. AIS leading the game from the beginning gave defending champions their first loss in the tournament as the full time scores read, 54-43.