SXC Cup 2017: IST to face Ace in men’s semi-final

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Int’l School of Tourism and Hotel Management (IST) is set to play Ace Institute of Management in men’s semi-final of the St. Xavier’s College Basketball Tournament 2017.

IST earned an easy win against Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management (NATHM) in the first of today’s quarter-final while Ace fought off Pulchowk in the late fixture to reach the semi-final.

NATHM vs IST

Although IST was the favorites, NATHM boys were holding their own for most part of the first quarter…fighting neck and neck…looking sharp and full of energy….But it didn’t last long.

NATHM started to lose their strength towards the end of the first quarter and went on to suffer big in the following quarter. Unfortunately, NATHM boys’ couldn’t keep up with the pace…couldn’t track back in defense allowing IST to hit 27 points in the second quarter.

However, NATHM continued to give their best…it’s just that their best was not good enough to trouble IST.

Shashwat Bikram Singh Shah had a great game for IST…going on to become the highest scorer with 20 points in the board. Rabin Gautam added 16 points despite not finding way through to the basket as easily as he does. But most of all, Beneeth Jung Rana who is usually happy to play a supporting role, had a fantastic day on the scoring front…going on to score 18 points. Rana was awarded the man of the match prize for his contribution.

Final score: NATHM 50-70 IST (10-13, 08-27, 13-16, 19-14).

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Bineet Jung Rana receives man of the match prize

Ace vs Pulchowk

Unlike the first match, it was a fairly tough battle. On paper, Ace faired better but the margin at the start of the match wasn’t much.

Pulchowk held up well in defense in the first quarter but couldn’t quite match that of Ace. The difference between the two was probably in offense, as Pulchowk couldn’t quite break down Ace defense as well as Ace did with theirs.

There were some hint of nerve as well….some of the Pulchowk boys not looking confident taking the outside shots. They couldn’t use the space on the help side as well as they should either. When they did manage to make shooting spaces, they were a bit slow in pulling the trigger.

Ace slowly built up the gap to take it to over 10 points by third quarter but there was every chance for Pulchowk to work their way up. And they came close in the final quarter.

Little over two minutes before the final buzzer, Pulchowk had closed the gap down to 6 points. Had they not missed majority of free throws minutes prior to that, they could’ve put more pressure on their opponents. But their poor shooting on free throws as well as on field goal attempts in the final moments let them down.

In the end Ace once again built on their lead to book their place in the semi-final.

Karma Tashi Gurung went on to score 16 points for Ace while Ashish Singh and Karma Serab Gurung managed to ge on the double digit scoreline.

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Final score: Ace 64-50 Pulchowk (13-11, 15-11, 18-14, 18-14).

The semi-final between IST and Ace is scheduled for June 30.