Sri Lanka (SL) took on Kazakhstan (KAZ) in their opening game of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers – Window 03, today, 18th February 2021. The game concluded in the favor of KAZ at the end of forty minutes. Subscribe to, to watch the replay, read about the match and to see game stats. 

Previous games in the championship 

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Game in a nutshell 

It was a tough ask for the Lankan lads to take on the mighty Kazakhstanis in the opening game of the third window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers. SL stepped into the arena after a year’s break as all the sporting events were halted on the island due to the global pandemic. 

SL depicted signs of a formidable side at the start of play, but as the game progressed it was evident that since the lads have not played competitive basketball for over 12 months, it was tough to adapt and to bring on the A-game. 

Match Replay

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KAZ won the maiden possession of the ball and drew first blood of the game, then, went on to lead the game 07-nil inside the first three minutes of the starting quarter. SL’s strategy in the game was to opt for shots from outside the arc and focus on the agility rather than trying to drive force into the defence. Unfortunately, the strategy lacked confidence in execution. 

SL scored, 13, 16, 11 and 12 for the four quarters. Islanders were outsmarted by miles as the KAZ went on to score, 28, 25, 31, 27 respectively. The final scores read, 52-111. 

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In a nutshell, the rebounds could have been better considering the average height of the team. The defence could have performed in a more intellectual form to close lanes and to double-team where necessary to exert the pressure on the opposition. Considering the fact that the offence was a main focal point in preparation, it was poor execution, as if the lads have forgotten what they practised for over a month day in and day out. 

Key Stats 

  • Sri Lanka – Yellow 
  • Kazakhstan – Blue 


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SL’s strategy into the game was to opt for more shots from the perimeter, to use the high-percentage shooting elbows and to limit the force in driving lanes. The practice was designed to apt the foresaid strategy as they went on a rigorous schedule of shooting 500+ shots daily before practice. 

SL opted for a total of 68 FG’s out of which only 21 were converted. From the 68 FG’s, 28 shots were marked as three-pointers. That being the prime-strategy, only 07 three-pointers were converted. The transfiguration rate stood at 25%. 

The offensive distribution could have been handled in a far more superlative way, pass the ball around, build the momentum and then opt for a shot at the right time. If the process was followed and at least 80% of 68 FG’s were converted, the bottom-line score would have related a different story. 


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Rebounds were the name of the game. In terms of both offence and defence, KAZ topped the charts merrily. On a statistical note, this could have been the point, where the two teams drew the line to differentiate one-another. However, from a mental aspect, this also the point which pumped up the opposition and built confidence in them, whilst SL piled with frustration which led to unforced errors costing them the game. 

Key Stats 

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Grabbing the rebound is just one part of the story, converting the board is when the full value is awarded. The second-chance points helped KAZ ease off the pressure in set-plays and to freely tick the scorecard. 

The fast-break points and the fouls committed were the other two factors that put SL in the backseat. The turnovers also hurt the lads severely. The game was grabbed away at this point, KAZ played a pressure-less game during the set-plays. They were smart to utilize the turnovers, convert the rebounds, utilize the free shots into a full value which got ticked scorecard effortlessly. 

Top Performers 

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Nimesh Fernando, rose to the occasion to pull through tough terrain. His all-around performance not only assisted SL in this match, but the confidence he built will come in handy for the next few encounters of the tour. 

Anthony Clemmons, if you have already watched the replay, he was a mean contender against this young SL side. He has his time, dominated right-around and prepped himself gaily for Palestine match. 

Group Standings 

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