Sri Lanka (SL) played their second match of the U16 SABA Basketball Championship 2019 against Nepal (NEP) today (4th July 2019), in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The islanders recorded their second consecutive win beating Nepal, 62-55. 

Sri Lanka won the jump-ball start but possession was over-turned by Nepal. Even though SL lost the maiden wave of offense, they drew first blood in the game. SL had a slight advantage in terms of height but in all other departments, the match-up was equal.

Both teams made ample unforced errors in the maiden quarter. The difference between the two teams came from the offensive rebounds. SL, using their height advantage to position themselves in the right markings, created a few second chances which helped them to take the lead by the end of the quarter. Even though Nepal adopted a full-court press in the dying minutes, wide cross-court passing aided SL to stay alive. The Lankans led the game, 23-18. 

Match Replay (Video Credits: NE Sports)

Banking on the early lead, SL swished a few mid-range jumpers early in the second quarter which lifted the difference on the score-board. Nepal stepped back into the game contesting more rebounds and attempting more field goals in comparison to the first quarter. However, the Nepali lads were not in the best of form in shooting as many attempted shots were off the ring. They only managed 9 points for the quarter. 

Although SL did score twice the number and closed out at 18 in the quarter, the play in comparison to the first quarter looked slow. It was the man-to-man defense that did the trick for the SL boys’ as they covered the lanes well and kept the opposition outside the D. 

Half Time: Sri Lanka – 40 Nepal 27 

The penultimate quarter was dominated by Nepal. Building on the form they stepped into during the second quarter, the lads ran riot against Sri Lanka, only leaking 02 points. In reply, they scored 14. 

Sri Lanka gave away many fouls, which helped Nepal cut down the deficit. 90% of the FT`s were converted by the Nepali boys. SL`s shooting dropped drastically as almost all their shots from mid-range, close-range, lay-ups, lay-ins were missed. 

The boys also showed signs of fatigue as the moving across slowed down after a pace filled first half. This helped Nepal gain rhythm, putting Sri Lanka under pressure. The scores at the end of the quarter read, 42-41, SL leading by a point. 

Both teams were under pressure stepping into the final ten minutes of the game. A full-court press defense strategy was employed by both sides from time to time. Sri Lanka, upping the pace once-more in the final quarter, went on to score back-to-back three pointers. It created the difference in the score-board as they ended up victorious. Nepal missed a couple of free-throws and in the meantime gave away a couple of fouls which didn`t help their cause. 

Full time: Sri Lanka – 62 Nepal – 55 

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