KBL 2018: Revitalised Goldengate bounce back


Goldengate ballers finally came in form to get back in winning ways with the defeat of Team Budhanilakantha Municipality at the Kwik’s Basketball League (KBL) 2018.

Goldengate had won two matches prior to this, but some of their players did not look like their former selves… they pretty much had to grind out the results. Not this time.

Veterans, Bipendra Maharjan and Karma Gurung along with Om Gurung (injured) did not make the team today but the team looked full of confidence. There was a lot of communication between the players throughout the game and displayed plenty of set plays in offense.

For the hosts, Budhanilakantha, their point guard, Biraj Maharjan (hamstring injury) and forward, Pushpa Raut (seasonal sickness), couldn’t make the team.

The visitors dominated the game in the first quarter…showing their true quality right from the start. They were on target from the outside and got a fare share of inside shots. Bikram Dangol got in the double digit scoreline (including 2 treys) within the first quarter. Rajiv Joshi and Sushil Gurung added three more treys as Goldengate opened an 11 point lead.

However, their zone defense failed in the second quarter. They didn’t come out far enough to guard allowing Budhanilakantha easy outside shots. And knowing what they had done against Army Club where they scored 15 treys, they were a real threat. And it made the difference.

The hosts started closing the gap thanks to their outside shooting. Little over two minutes before the half-time break, Nirav Chand levelled the game for the hosts at 42 points a piece. Bikash Bohora’s second trey; and a basket each from Nirav and Saugat Singh helped the hosts finish first half 4 points ahead of their opponents. Bikash Bohora scored 12 points in the second period including two treys and Milan added 3 treys. Unfortunately, for visitors, they couldn’t sort their defense soon enough.

Goldengate did switch their defense after the break and they were back on top. They retook the lead and this time made sure they got the result….going on to win by a margin of 16 points.

Players like Sushil Gurung and Binod Maharjan, who had looked lost in their previous matches were a completely new men today…very sharp on the outside. Both went on to score four 3-pointers each.

Rajiv Joshi and Bikram Dangol got their fare share to get into double digit scoreline but Anish Shahi took the Player of the Game prize and the spotlight with a contribution of 24 points, 18 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals.

Anish Shahi Thakuri (left) receives Player of the Game prize from former Nepal international cricketer, Bantu Bataju.

Goldengate scored 14 treys in total which is the second highest in a single match at the KBL 2018. The record 3-pointers in a single match is held by their today’s opponents, Budhanilakantha with 15 treys.

For the hosts, Bikash Bohora had his best day with 19 points and 6 rebounds while Rishav, Milan and Saugat got in the double digit scoreline.

Final score: Budhanilakantha 76-92 Goldengate (Box score).

Budhanilakantha head coach, Upendra Rawat, said after the match that injury to two of their players, Biraj and Pushpa, made it difficult for them. He was however, happy with today’s performance.

“Goldengate is a good team”, he said. Despite the loss, “it was good to play with them this well.”

Meanwhile, Goldengate head coach, Bipeen Kapali said that this time they had good pre-planing. “We took it easy before and didn’t work”, he said. “We have taken it seriously now.”

“Our transition wasn’t good before. We’ve worked on that. Our shooters were in good form today and that opened up space on the inside”, he said. “We couldn’t defend on the outside in the second quarter but once we switched to man to man we controlled that.”

In the late fixture, BMK defeated Xavier Int’l (77-75) to climb to 2nd place in the league. Box score for this match to be updated soon.

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