The grand finale of the Vaaj Junior Premier League tipped off at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium yesterday. The Women’s Final was played between Colombo District Association [Women] vs Sri Lanka Schools.
The game started with the players lining up for the traditional Jump- ball. It was Colombo who had the first possession of the ball, but they missed the opportunity of making the first attempt of the game. However, Nihari Perera opened the score boards for team Colombo while making the first bucket of the game.
- Rebranded Junior National Basketball Championship to recommence (thepapare.com)
- Photos – Vaaj Junior Premier League Tournament | Men’s & Women’s Finals
- Photos – Vaaj Junior Premier League Tournament | Women’s Semi Finals
Within the first two minutes of the maiden quarter, Lubna Morseth and Nihari Perera were exceptional in scoring and making the shot for Team Colombo to get an early lead. Sri Lanka Schools did take a considerable amount of time to settle into the game.
With 3 minutes having passed already, it was Onella Dunuwilla who broke the monotony by drawing the first shot for Sri Lanka Schools in converting a lay-up. With that, SL Schools man-to-man defense made a huge impact on the ladies in red as they were craving to make the shots count.
However, the long passes which later converted into fast break situations, got Team Colombo on track yet again.
The second quarter was another hectic quarter for the two teams, as both the teams tightened their defense in order to stop the scoring. Young Minoli Direckze blocked half of the shots of the experienced ladies who played in team Colombo, and most of the interceptions were converted into solid points by Sri Lanka Schools: within the first few minutes of the second quarter, Sri Lanka Schools managed to cut down the deficit to 4 points. Once again, the quick passes and fast breaks of Team Colombo kept them in the lead.
Half Time Score – SL Schools – 20 Colombo – 29
Both teams changed gears and picked up the tempo of play to begin the second half of the game, in comparison to the first. At critical points in the game, Lubna Morseth and Liyara Malmi were able to secure decent rebounds and successfully complete second chances.
Schools had a hard time breaking past the Colombo defense because of their tight defensive tactics. Colombo managed to get the lead up to a two-digit number by the end of the third quarter, and turned the winning tables towards them.
The Sri Lanka Schools team lost their momentum as team Colombo kept on scoring in the final quarter both on and off the ark. Most of the Colombo shots made it through, whilst Sri Lanka Schools failed in their defense to stop the leakage of points.
The game ended with a score line of 34;66 in favor of Colombo District Association as they managed to secure the championship title in the level 1, Women’s category at the Vaaj Junior Premier League 2023.
Most Valuable Player – Nihari Perera [Colombo District Association]
Best Offensive Player – Lubna Morseth [Colombo District Association]