Jubilant College, Times College, NeBA ‘A’ and the hosts have reached the semis while big guns Liverpool College, Prime College and Xavier Int’l College are knocked out of the first Angel’s Heart U-18 (AHU-18) Basketball Tournament.
Times College reached the semis with the defeat of U-16 national team hopefuls, NeBA ‘B’ while Jubilant narrowly beat Liverpool College in the quarter-finals. In other quarter-finals, two of the top teams — Prime College and Xavier Int’l suffered disappointing defeats in the hands of NeBA ‘A’, consisting of fifteen year olds and the hosts, and Angel’s Heart respectively.
Jubilant vs Liverpool
Ashish and Jasang — two of the three Nepal U-18 internationals in Liverpool squad — put on a fine show in the first quarter, grabbing majority of rebounds and scoring effortlessly on the other end. But for all their flare, Liverpool only managed to open a margin of 5 points.
In a complete role reversal, Jubilant went on to dominate in the second quarter. They cut the deficit and went on to lead by 5 points. Liverpool managing just two points.
Liverpool did fight back and got on top of things in the third quarter to lead once again. They went as far as to lead by 10 points in the early stages of the fourth quarter but by then, some of their influential players were on foul trouble….which gave Jubilant the advantage as they crawled back to close the gap.
Liverpool were still leading with 30 seconds on the game clock, albeit by just a point. But then the mistake. They were in possession of the ball…and decided to kill time. They could’ve taken the shot before the shot clock ran out and defended with their lives if it didn’t go in…but they didn’t. Which gave Jubilant the possession without a fight. And Jubilant boy, Pabeen, punished them…and gave his side a one point lead and effectively the win. Liverpool’s desperate attempt to gain possession with 3 seconds remaining didn’t come to fruition. Nikesh added another point from free throw to wrap the game.
Final score: Jubilant 52-53 Liverpool
Highest scorer: Anup Kumar Barewar (Jubilant) – 14 points / Ashish Basnet (Liverpool) – 17 points.
Times vs NeBA ‘B’
NeBA ‘B’ had good start to take a narrow lead in the first quarter but they never looked convincing. Needless to say, Times College turned the tide within the first minute of the second quarter, thanks to two solo effort from Manish KC — a run down the middle and a attack from the elbow.
Soon enough Times built up a lead of 8 points and comfortably maintained their lead throughout the game to book their place in the semi-final.
Final score: Times 37-27 NeBA ‘B’ (07-07, 17-06, 08-06, 08-08).
Highest scorer: Manish KC – 17 points.
Prime vs NeBA ‘A’
Considering Prime College had beaten Liverpool in Group C, they were expected to at least put on a good fight against NeBA ‘A’ who had finished behind Jubilant in Group A. But it was a complete contrast as they fell 7 points behind in the first quarter.
NeBA youngsters dominated in all areas of the game to build up 14 point margin by the end of the third quarter. NeBA ‘A’ were technically on par with the boys at least two years older then them…and the slight height advantage proved them a difficult customer.
Prime College did finish with a respectable margin in the end after NeBA ‘A’ let their guards down a bit in the final quarter. But for a team with a reputation of being one of the top teams in their age group in the country, a loss to a group of fifteen year olds was a big disappointment.
Final score: NeBA ‘A’ 50-44 Prime (11-04, 08-04, 19-16, 12-20).
Highest scorer: Sujan Limbu – 22 points.
Xavier Int’l vs Angel’s Heart
Another shocker. Sadly, Xavier Int’l boys couldn’t guard the likes of Shohart Thakuri and Nepal U-18 star, Nikesh Magar in defense. While in offense, Angel’s Heart’s compact zone (possibly 3-2/ 1-2-2) made sure Xavier Int’l boys didn’t get easy baskets. And without much outside threat, Xavier Int’l were second best by a long margin.
The hosts took a bit to stamp their authority though…they only managed a 4 point lead in the first quarter. But they built on it on each of the two subsequent quarters to take the gap to 19 points at the end of the third quarter.
Fourth quarter, unfortunately for Xavier Int’l, proved merely a formality as Xavier Int’l never showed enough quality for a comeback.
Final score: Angel’s Heart 53-36 Xavier Int’l (08-04, 21-12, 16-10, 10-11).
Highest scorer: Nikesh Magar – 30 points.
Semi-final is scheduled for Wednesday, July 19.
Jubilant vs Times – 11:00 am
NeBA ‘A’ vs Angel’s Heart – 1:00 pm