Goldengate Int’l College sidelined SANN Int’l College at the final to bag KCM Basketball Bash 2017 men’s title.
Goldengate, a experienced team with regular participation in major tournaments against a team primarily made up of men trying to make their way back in basketball after some break….it was obvious who the favorites were.
Last year’s loosing finalists, Goldengate, had slightly better squad to begin with but the fact that they enjoyed a day long rest before the final — unlike SANN who played their semi-final against the hosts yesterday — added to SANN’s downfall.
SANN had started well enough but they didn’t convert as much as they should in the first quarter. Unlike in the semi-final against KCM, where they enjoyed rather easy time at the low post, it was well guarded by Saurav Upreti and Manish Raj…..Kewal Sunuwar not able squeeze past the Goldengate defense as easily. Nikesh Magar was great breaking into the paint but his shot under pressure didn’t come-off in the early exchanges.
However, SANN finished the first quarter on lead. But as the game wore on they were visibly knackered and Goldengate started to dominate play. By the end of the second quarter Goldengate had turned the tide.
By third quarter some of the SANN starters couldn’t cope…looked exhausted….repeatedly asking their coach for a time-out or substitution — which surprisingly didn’t come in time.
SANN did well to target key players in drawing foul…something they did effectively in the previous matches. By third quarter, Goldengate’s Dorje Lama was on four fouls but it didn’t affect much. Obviously Goldengate had enough strength in depth on the bench for them not to worry.
Besides a lot of the damage was done by Siddhartha Maharjan who went on to score 22 individual points — some of them after stealing. Unfortunately, SANN could not stop his signature move — drive down the lane and shoot from the right side of the paint. His performance pivotal …..earned him the MVP award.
At the end of the third quarter Goldengate had opened a margin of 10 points. And added further more in the final quarter to extend the gap to over twenty points. SANN unfortunately, looked resigned to losing even when there was enough time for some challenge. Usually vocal bench looked rather silent.
In the end it was a comfortable victory for Goldengate Int’l College.
Final score: Goldengate 67-46 SANN (15-17, 15-09, 16-10, 21-10).