Hosts, Kathmandu College of Management (KCM) and the SANN Int’l College reached the semi-final of the men’s KCM Basketball Bash 2017 with the defeat of Saipal Academy and Times Int’l College respectively.
KCM pulled out a shocker with the defeat of one of the tournament favorites Saipal Academy which is essentially the BMK side playing under the Saipal badge. And in the last of the men’s quarter-final, SANN topped that up with another shock win…defeating another of the tournament favorites Times College.
KCM vs Saipal
Hosts fought well in the first quarter with Gopin Pun looking fairly sharp on the outside and Anul Suwal pulling out occasional three point play. However, they were second best when it came to rebounds — both defensive and offensive which gave slight edge to Saipal.
KCM were trailing only by two points at the end of the first quarter but as soon as they subbed some of their starters, things went downhill for them drastically. All of sudden they looked like a team who had never played together before. At times Gopin tried to dictate the play from the back…only to see other players not knowing where move.
Run of 8 points from Saipal took the margin to 10 points before KCM took a time-out. But they couldn’t change the momentum after the time-out either.
Saipal were clearly on a high…level of energy complete contrast to fading KCM. Saipal added few more baskets until finally KCM starting line up was back in which steadied things. Yet they were far from turning things around as they trailed by 13 points at half-time.
Come the third quarter hosts made sure they didn’t fall further behind but still there were no sign of them making a comeback. All of which changed in the final quarter.
KCM suddenly found themselves gaining upper hand with senior players — Sanjay Byanjankar Jr and Minesh Shakya — finally raising their game on the backboard. While frustrations started to creep in to Saipal players seemingly unhappy with refereeing decisions — some of which were questionable. Presence of just two referees certainly gave both the teams room to point fingers.
Saipal were leading 51-45 with little over two minutes remaining on the clock, they were far from their best at this point though.
On the other hand, the hosts cheered on by what little — but boisterous — fans they had were on top of their form. Soon enough a three pointer from Gopin followed by a basket from Sanjay put them level on points with Saipal. And Anul put them on lead for the first time in the game.
An offensive foul called on Sanjay — which probably wasn’t — gave Saipal one last chance to equalise in the dying seconds…but Sabin Lama converted just one of the free throws which signalled the end of the game for Saipal.
All five KCM starters –Gopin, Anul, Sanjay, Minish and Rupen — got on the double digit scoreline as they booked their place in the semi-final.
Final score: KCM 59-57 Saipal (19-21, 05-16, 15-14, 20-06).
SANN vs Times Int’l
Times Int’l were missing two of their key players — Ketan to national team training and Pukar through injury.
However, Times Int’l College were pretty much in the game right until the final quarter.
The physical nature of today’s game was taking its toll on players like Biraj Rana and Saugat. Saugat had to sit out for much of the third quarter a collision with Tenzin resulted in bad knock on the thigh.
In addition they didn’t have their head coach Sadhish Pradhan who is also on the national team training….all of which culminated in SANN dominating in the final quarter and taking the win.
Final score: Times 55-67 SANN (10-10, 12-14, 16-17, 17-26).
Nikesh Magar went on to score 21 points, the highest in the match, for SANN.