The 2nd semifinal of the Boys’ U17 All Island “B” Division Basketball Championship, was played at the Gateway College Colombo outdoor basketball complex. Mahanama College (MCC) took on Kingswood College (KCC) in the game. Visitors, KCC triumphed at full time, 40-34.
After the tipoff, Hasitha Samarasinghe (12) drew first blood for the Kandy lads, converting a free-throw. Both the teams were on equal footing in both offence and defense but KCC managed to take the upper hand, leading by 3 points at the end of the first quarter, 10-7.
MCC played a more dominant game in comparison with the first quarter, fighting for rebounds and converting the passes into points at the rim. It was the free-throws that made the difference, with KCC skipper Ruvindu Rathnayake (30) converting the FT`s successfully. Going into lemons, KCC led the game, 19-15.
Stepping into the penultimate quarter, sloppy passes and unforced errors allowed the Colombo lads to score 04 points in ten minutes. KCC replied back with 10 points as Hasitha Samarasinghe (13) continued his dominance from the first ten minutes. At the end of third quarter, scores read, 30-19, KCC leading.
MCC tightened the defense in the final quarter and cut down the lead. Just as MCC was finally stepping into the groove, Chamara Gunathilake (4) who was performing exceptionally well, faced foul trouble and was benched.
The boys from MCC did continue their hunt to find a spot in the finals, but, the missed opportunities from the first half halted them. As the final whistle blew, Kandy lads marched on to the finals, 40-34.
Head Coach of KCC, Buddhin Amarasinghe speaking to ThePapare.com said “We are trying to improve our defense and capitalize on the errors of the opposition in the finals even though there is an effect of the weather to the team, they are mentally strong to stand against the odds”
Head Coach of MCC, Asanka Suwaris speaking to ThePapare.com said “The team did careless mistakes especially in the 3rd quarter which costed us the game, but as the court wasn’t familiar for the team it had a big effect of the end result of the match, but we will come more prepared for our opposition for the 3rd place match”
KCC will face Gateway, Colombo in the finals while Mahanama will face off against St Joseph Vaz in the 3rd place playoff.