Saipal Academy defeated the hosts, Angel’s Heart, to lift the title of the first Angel’s Heart Under-18 basketball title in the girls’ category.
Saipal had already heavily defeated Angel’s Heart in the group phase of the tournament. They were the favorites. And the outcome in the final was no different.
However, coming after a long break, some of the main players in the home side were expected regain their match fitness as the tournament progressed. Expected to give a sterner challenge to the eventual winners. But it wasn’t so…
Saipal had the height advantage, which clearly had an impact. In addition, players such as Roshani Shrestha and Pratikshya Magar looked much more commanding since their appearance at the KCM Bash — dominating much of the play.
Few clumsy touches in the start of the game set the tone for the home side…man to man pressure defense from Saipal probably the reason for that. In any other day, it wouldn’t be a big deal but it seemed to affect Angel’s Heart players.
However, Angel’s Heart were trailing by just 2 points at the end of the first quarter….two treys from Bishnu Darlami and Pratikshya Pun keeping them in the game. Major factor for tiny margin…..Saipal’s biggest and the most experienced player, Shreya Khadka, wasn’t in the starting five….Shreya couldn’t reach the venue until few minutes after the start of the match.
But, come the second quarter, Saipal started completely dominating the game. Angel’s Heart defense could not handle in defense while in offense they were limited to outside shots.
Gap grew to eight points at half-time and more than doubled in the third quarter. In the end, Saipal took the win and the title with a margin of 27 points.
Sabita Khadka scored 15 points for the home side but that wasn’t enough to hold Saipal.
For the winning side, Roshani Shrestha went on to score 31 individual points highest in the match and a record for the tournament (also probably the highest individual score in the girls’ game in any match in the last four years in Kathmandu).
Roshani Shrestha received the MVP award for her efforts. While
Pratikshya Magar, won the highest scorer award.
Final score: Angel’s Heart 29-56 Saipal (08-10, 10-16, 08-17, 03-13).