FIBA: DHAKA (FIBA Asia Cup 2021 SABA Pre-Qualifier) June 30, 2018 “ Sri Lanka posted its third straight win to sail through to the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Pre-Qualifier from the SABA zone.
Meanwhile, hosts Bangladesh and Maldives have set up a thrilling final day clash which will determine the second team from the SABA zone that will join Sri Lanka. The two remaining teams, Nepal and Bhutan, have been knocked out.
In decisive action from day four, Sri Lanka stamped its class by dominating Maldives 82-57. The Maldives has proved to be the most dangerous side in the competition, with impressive wins over Nepal and Bhutan. Today though, Sri Lanka proved its consistency by closing the door on its island neighbour. Sri Lanka won the first three quarters 16-11, 27-19 and 28-11 to put the result beyond any doubt before the final 10 minutes.
Sri Lanka was particularly impressive on the defensive end, posting 13 blocks and restricting the Maldives to just 29% from the field. The paint battle too was skewed in Sri Lanka’s favour when it came to points (46 to 28) and boards (50 to 40). Such was the lopsided nature of the contest that at one point, Sri Lanka led by as many as 33 points, and was able to field its bench players for significant stretches. Sri Lanka was also money from downtown, connecting on 10 threes.
In the second game of the day, hosts Bangladesh beat Nepal 79-66. In the process, Nepal, as well as Bhutan (which needed Nepal to win in order to stay in contention), have been knocked out of the competition.
Bangladesh’s offence got clicking early as it raced away to a 21-13 lead. With only 6 team assists, Nepal’s offence was stagnant, forcing it to yet again to rely on the duo of Sadish Pradhan and Ayush Singh, who were the only two players to score in double digits. Despite 25 turnovers, Bangladesh shot over 50% from the field to secure the win. Bangladesh’s Md Tareq Aziz led all scorers with 27 points in under 30 minutes, including 4/4 from downtown.
In tomorrow’s final day of action, Sri Lanka takes on Bhutan at 8 am local time, followed by Bangladesh vs the Maldives at 4 pm.
Sri Lanka beat Maldives, 82-57
Bangladesh beat Nepal, 70-57
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