KBL 2018: Xavier Int’l finally off the mark

Ajay_Kushwaha_Baseline Drive_KBL2018

Xavier Int’l College got their first win at the ongoing Kwik’s Basketball League (KBL) 2018 defeating Team Budhanilakantha Municipality.

After going close to winning in majority of their previous matches, Xavier Int’l College, has finally held on to their lead after a losing streak of 7 games.

Xavier Int’l took a slender lead in the first half. But then taking the lead against most of their competitors haven’t been so much of a problem. The problem was holding on to their lead.

Ajay Kushwaha was in one of his good moods…scoring 16 points in the first half for the visitors. And contributions from Nikesh, Ashish and Binesh kept the visitors 2 points ahead.

Hosts, Budhanilakantha, were still affected by the seasonal sickness and injury but still did enough to stay close to their opponents until the half-time break. But as Budhanilakantha players started getting into foul trouble, space opened up more for the visitors as they dominated in the third quarter….taking the margin to 13 points.

However, Xavier Int’l nearly lost it again. The hosts raised the game in the final quarter to closed the gap down to just 2 points (72-70) little over minute before the final buzzer…Utsav Chand doing most of the scoring.

The visitors didn’t lose it all together this time though. Two lay-ups, one from Anish Magar and Rakesh Shrestha was enough to calm things. And conversion of 4 free throws at the end secured the game.

Xavier centre, Ajay Kushwaha’s fine form got him the double double. He was awarded the Player of the Game prize for his contribution of score 21 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal. Anish Magar, Ashish Basnet, Nikesh Magar and Binesh Neupane managed to get into the double digit scoreline.

Ajay Kushwaha (right) receives Player of the Game prize from referee, Dipesh Karki.

For the hosts, Utsav Chand had his best day….scoring 32 points. Biraj Rana scored 16 points despite carrying a slight injury. While Saugat Singh scored 14 points. But the rest of the team weren’t able to chip in their fare share as they settle for defeat.

Budhanilakantha head coach, Upendra Rawat was happy with the performance of his team though. “Seasonal sickness is still affecting our players”, he said. “Otherwise the performance was ok.”

He also expressed is dissatisfaction with the officials claiming official desk would hear anything we had to say.

Meanwhile, Xavier Int’l head coach, Nripesh Shrestha was elated with the first win. “Ajay was in good form today. And Binesh had good drive”, he said. In addition “we converted more free throws today, which was important.”

However, he said, “we still need to handle pressure better.”

In the late fixture, Himalayan Hounds defeated Siders 65-59.

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