Sri Lanka clean swept the South Asian Basketball Championship (SABA 2018), played in, Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Lankans remained unbeaten, beating Bhutan in the final match to clinch the gold medal, 71-60. Thus, Sri Lanka qualified for the second round of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 pre-qualifiers which will be played in September 2019, right after the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019.

Previous Games

Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh 34-65

Sri Lanka beat Nepal 70-57

Sri Lanka beat Maldives 82-57

Bhutan lost to Bangladesh 61-49

Bhutan beat Nepal 68-65

Maldives beat Nepal 74-66

>>Hattrick of wins for Sri Lanka as Maldives drowns<<

Sri Lanka: Joseph Gayan, Praneeth Uduamalagala, Roshan Randima, Isuru Prabath, Roshan Suranga.

Bhutan: Dorji Gyeltshen, Jigme Yonten, Sonam Phuntsho, Dorji Rinchen, Karma Wangchuk.

Game in a Nutshell

Sri Lanka having secured the championship after beating Maldives, gave the young blood in the team much needed international exposure, investing in the future of the game.

Kisal Cooray who had a brilliant game against Maldives, got more playing time to bag enough experience to shape up his future. Kisal played for 29:08 scoring with 03 boards and a couple of assists. Chanaka Senarath who did not have the chance to showcase his talents in the earlier matches, played for 14:16 scoring 06 points and then etched couple of rebounds.

Sri Lanka led the game in the maiden quarter, 18-8 and carried on the momentum to the second quarter piling up 21 points. Bhutan replied with 04 points. Bhutan did not have a strong foothold in the game until the last quarter where they went on to score 32 points.

>>Second win for Sri Lanka, Nepal defeated<<

Even though Bhutan did hurt Sri Lanka in the final quarter, the early lead built by Sri Lanka in the previous three quarters helped the island nation to close down the game from a winning position. If Bhutan had the energy they had during the second half of the game, the game would have turned on to be a more exciting one.

Key Stats

Blue = Sri Lanka Green = Bhutan

Shooting Percentage: Even though Sri Lanka did end up on the winning side of the match, they did not have the best day at office in shooting. Converting only 26 out of the 66 attempted field goals, percentage stood at 39%. With Timothi Nithushan and seniors being rested for the final game, Sri Lanka played a game to gain more exposure. Bhutan converted 26 out of their 66 field goals which stood at 43%. Most of the points and shots came during the second half of the game.

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Rebounds: Sri Lanka was on top of the rebounds and continued to be so during the final game of the tournament as well. Etching 29 defensive rebounds, Sri Lanka depicted their height advantage over the rest of the contenders. Bhutan too grabbed on to 29 defensive rebounds, but they were behind the Lankan lads from the offensive aspect.

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Sri Lanka`s bench scored 31 points while 26 points for Bhutan came from its bench. Sri Lanka who governed the game with passes across the court to create fast break opportunities, only managed 12 while Bhutan topped the list with 16.

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Bhutan had 16 steals under their name while Sri Lanka had only 11. Sri Lanka forced 22 turnovers while Bhutan forced 25 off Sri Lanka.

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Top Performers

Sri Lanka: Praneeth Udumalagala continued the fine form from the previous match with some extravagant basketball. Praneeth went on to score 19 points with 07 rebounds, couple of steals and assists. Praneeth playing his basketball in USA for a couple of years took his sweet time to re-adjust himself with the Sri Lankan team. But from the third match onwards he found his form which created havoc in the rival defense.

>>Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh, pile up win No. 01<<

Bhutan: Kesang Phuntsho topped the game for Bhutan after a devastating tour. He scored 15 points with 05 rebounds and 04 assists. To add more color he had 05 steals under his name.  

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