Sri Lanka beat Japan for the first time in the history in any format of the game yesterday (26th May – 2017). ThePapare.com got hold of the U18 3×3 Youth National Team who is currently in Malaysia.
Sri Lanka commenced their hunt for the U18 3×3 Asia Championship title today in Malaysia.
Sri Lanka Youth Team took on the Asian heavy-weights Japan in their second group stage match. Sri Lanka went into the game having won their first game against Kyrgyzstan 20-17. Even though the local lads stepped into the game with a physiological advantage Japan did not make the road towards the victory an easy one.
The game`s scorecard was squared during six occasions from the start of the game up until the final seconds. However, Sri Lanka managed to edge out the Japanese by a point in the end 16-15.
With the win Sri Lanka topped their group with thirty-six points and placed themselves in the quarter final stage of the tournament.
We questioned skipper Arnold Brent on how he felt about the victory over Japan and advancing over to the quarter-finals, “First of all this is the first time in history we took down Japan and qualified for the quarter-finals. Our coach did a great job in training us in order for us to go for this achievement. It was nail-biting victory for us vs Japan and all of us enjoyed the game as well. Now we are stepping in for the upcoming game against China in the quarter-finals who are also a very strong team. But we won’t back down and fight till the end. Humbly proud have led the team to this stage and to represent the country. Everyone out their home thanks for the support, really Appreciate it”
Shivanga De Silva was judged the player of the day by FIBA after his dazzling cross-overs where he took the defenders by surprise. He was in sublime form, penetrating through the open lane and using the basics of roll-offs and behind the back moves to beat the defenders; he was instrumental in the victory.
We asked him how he felt and he said, “I think it was a great opportunity for us as a team to play against one of the heavy weights of Asia; Japan and to compete against them at a high level. We are really excited and blessed to be playing the quarter-final stage at the 3×3 Asian Championship and we won’t take this opportunity for granted. We hope to come out on top. Shootout to everyone back at home for all the support and we hope that you guys will continue to do so in the future”.
A bright student, a ? champion and a crossover artist. Is there anything Shivanga De Silva ?? can’t do?
Sri Lanka clearly possessed the height advantage over the Japanese and were always on top of the rebounding factor. Rashan Perera was instrumental in etching those rebounds in to his hands and to create second chance opportunities for the local lads.
Rashan Perera speaking to ThePapare.com about win said, “I’m proud to represent my country at the 3×3 Asia Championship. I really enjoyed the game because of the intensity and looking forward for the quarter-final stage against China.”
It was a complete team game by Sri Lanka as the free-throws from Rukshan Atapattu made the difference at the dying seconds when the scoreboard was squared.
Rukshan Atapattu speaking to ThePapare.com said, “It was a good and high intensity game. I enjoyed every bit of it and really happy to be a part of the team at this moment and to represent the country. And looking forward for the quarter-finals. Thanks everyone for the support”.
All in all, it was a brilliant performance by the Sri Lankans. In comparison to the performance of the previous year Sri Lanka as a team have improved immensely. It was a fact that was highlighted by not only the fans but by the international reporters too.
Sri Lanka will play China in the quarter-final game tomorrow (28th May 2017) at 10.20 am local time. Rally-around ardent fans let’s wish the boys all the very best!