NeBA champions South Siders suffered defeat in the hands of minnows, BMK; while Bangladesh Navy secured their 7th win defeating Innovative at the BMK Cup Basketball Tournament.
Siders vs BMK
Two of the key players Subrat and Minesh didn’t feature for the Siders while Prazun Pokharel was missing from the home team — which made it a more or less level playing field.
Siders made a bright start with the likes of Bijay Burja, Dorje Lama and Ashish Singh making up the numbers on the scoreboard.
But they let the home team catch up in the following quarter. It was neck and neck for much of the third quarter but performance was below par from both sides.
At the very end of third quarter, Mabindra muscled his way for rebound and a basket followed by a three pointer from Bishal Tamang which seemed to lift the game for Siders. But it was a false sign.
Unfortunately, Siders came back worse into the fourth quarter. It was rather their opponents who came out the stronger with Bivek and Saswant back in the court. At one point they had a run of 10 points as they took the lead.
Mid-way through the fourth quarter BMK had opened up a margin of more than 10 points and kept on adding more.
Unfortunately, NeBA national champions were very poor in the final four minutes — very unlike a champion. After missing four or five shots, their morale went down. And most of their attempts in the final moments looked half-hearted at best as they settled for a defeat.
Bikash Gurung contributed the highest individual points for the home side with 22 points closely followed by Bivek Shrestha who added 20 points. Ajay Kushwaha and Saswat Singh added 14 and 12 points respectively.
Siders do have a better head to head score if it comes to a equal number of wins, which is very likely. But if they play like they did in the final four minutes against Innovative in their final match of the tournament on Monday, they may have to settle for fourth place in the tournament.
As for BMK, two wins means they have secured at least fourth place which was probably their target to start with.
Final score: Siders 71-87 BMK (29-21, 16-21, 18-15, 08-30)
In the early fixture of the day, Bangladesh Navy secured yet another win beating the weakest team in the tournament, Innovative Baneshwore 109-84.
It is the seventh straight win for the the Bangladeshi league champions which puts them on course to take the BMK title. They will face Tribhuvan Army Club in the finale on Monday.
Bangladesh top scorer, Mithun Kumar Biswas went on to hit the highest individual score in the tournament so far with 43 points in today’s match.