Sri Lanka Women cagers thrash Bhutan in SABA opener | Daily News

Sri Lanka Women cagers thrash Bhutan in SABA opener

Action from the match between Sri Lanka and Bhutan
Action from the match between Sri Lanka and Bhutan

Sri Lanka launched their defence for the South Asian Basketball Association (SABA) Women’s Championship with a smashing 98-33 victory over Bhutan in their opening fixture played at the Social Centre in Male City, Maldives on Monday.

The Sri Lankan Women played some superb attacking basketball and completely dominated the proceedings from the start to the finish of this four-Nation tournament, which also include Nepal and the hosts Maldives.

Even then, this was a slight improvement from the Bhutan side, which had suffered a massive 31-112 defeat against Sri Lanka during the inaugural tournament in Kathmandu, Nepal in 2016.

Nevertheless, Sri Lanka will be pleased with their performances as all their key players showed promise and looked in excellent form ahead of the more important games of the tournament.

In fact, Sri Lanka’s success was never a doubt from the moment they built up a commanding 18-4 lead in the first quarter following a great start and by half time they had extended that lead to a massive 39-17.

Playmaker and centre Sasanthi Samarasinghe (22) gave the defending champions a flying start with some accurate shooting from both corners as she did the bulk of the scoring during the opening 20 minutes of play. Thereafter, Sri Lanka probably enjoyed their best part of the game as they destroyed the opposition with a ruthless performance during the third quarter, which produced as many as 35 points.

Samarasinghe was forced to play the supporting role as Sri Lanka’s two small forwards Epciba Washington (13) and Benika Thalagala (10) came into their own through a series of points from under the basket. Altogether, Sri Lanka were successful in collecting a total of 67 reboundswith Skipper and shooting guard Anjalee Ekanayake and Taniya Perera having a superb fourth and final quarter in both attack and defence.

The only concern for the Sri Lankan camp will be on the consistency of collecting three-point baskets where they threw away some valuable possessions to their opponents, which anyway did not make a huge impact on the result.

Meanwhile, the Maldives put up a stunning performance to beat the more fancied Nepal 51-47 in the curtain raiser match of the tournament. In fact, this was a historic moment for the home side as they were able to record their maiden victory against Nepal, who were placed second in theinaugural event as well as in the 2019 South Asian Games.


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