Sri Lanka (SL) tipped-off the U16 SABA Basketball Championship gallantly, beating Maldives (MAL) 100 – 30 in a scintillating game of basketball. The first match for Sri Lanka was played today (3rd July, 2019) in Dhaka, Bangladesh. 

It was important that Sri Lanka got a decent start in the tournament, as the lads didn’t have the luxury of practicing ably prior to the tournament. Winning the jump-ball the islanders drew blood in the first possession nailing a mid-range jumper. 

SL using the height advantage began to dominate the game early on. Grabbing the rebounds and pressure in defense was executed brilliantly. 90% of the points scored in the maiden quarter, came through fast-break possessions. MAL was left clueless as half of their offensive possessions were over-turned into points at the other end. Islanders added 28 points in the first quarter in reply to the MAL`s 09. 

SL continued the same momentum coming into the second quarter. Adding another 26 points to the score-board, SL converted every possession into points.  MAL lacking both height and pace in their offensive plays scored only 06 points. 

Watch the Match Replay (Video Credits: NE Sports – Bangladesh)

Rebounds from both ends were etched by SL, positioning themselves rightfully, the opposition was boxed-out from the range.  MAL failing to penetrate through the SL defence was left with no option, but, opt for perimeter shots. Unfortunately, their shooing was not up to par. 

Half Time: Sri Lanka – 54 Maldives – 15

Second half of the tournament showed no difference from the first. 3/4th of the offensive possessions of MAL was over-tuned into points by SL via fast-breaks. The pressure played a toll on the Maldivians as the passes and the game-plays started to crumble. 

Sri Lanka was all over the opposition with robust hustle to the ball. The transition defence of the Lankan lads was executed well. The ball was stolen from MAL numerous times in mid-way which completely rattled their offensive game-plan. Hence, they did not have enough time in their hands to execute their plans as it was done possession after possession. 

Sri Lanka added another 25 points to the penultimate quarter while Maldives only replied with a mere 03 points. Even though SL shot heavy artillery in offense, the lads were not tested much in their perimeter and basic shots. Most of the points came through fast-break plays. 

The win will help Sri Lanka to step into the groove and find the adept team combinations. Rebounds, transition offense and defence doesn`t seem to bother the Lankan outfit. However, in comparison to the tournament favourites, India, Maldives played a slow paced game. Sri Lanka`s fitness levels will be tested at best when an equal opposition is matched-up. Whilst, Sri Lanka cherish the win, the boys should also better themselves for the up-coming matches.  

Full Time: Sri Lanka – 110 Maldives – 30 

Up-Coming Matches for Sri Lanka