Women's Basketball League: Gorillas enter final, Anusha shapes Police victory

- Adarsha Dhakal, Kathmandu

Jun 8, 2019-

Samriddhi Gorillas entered the final of the Women's Nepal Basketball League defeating ISO Kites 54-44 for their fifth consecutive victory in the tournament.

The match was the resumption of Thursday's game which had to be called off with both teams tied on 39 points with 7:21 left in the final quarter. ISO Kites, who had bolstered their team by inclusion of two Filipinos and one Bhutanese hoopsters, were on top of their game a day earlier but on Friday they failed to offer any challenge against the table-toppers.

While Gorillas added 15 points to their total, ISO Kites failed to convert in their possession and netted only five. Sony Waiba sealed the victory for Gorillas with 15 seconds remaining. Srijana Giri scored 14 points for Gorillas who now lead the standings with 10 points. Allana May Lim of Philippines was the biggest contributor for ISO Kite with 30 points. After their third defeat, ISO Kites are now in a danger of league stage elimination and require a huge margin victory over Nepal Police Club. In their first leg, NPC had claimed a 76-63 win.

NPC, whose only two losses came against Gorillas, defeated Saipal Academy 71-58 with Anusha Malla yet again making an overall impact in the game. Malla scored 20 points, took eight rebounds, made six assists and had four steals as NPC put a foot in the final. They just need to make sure they don't lose to ISO Kites by a big margin. Saipal, winless in five games, are already out of the tournament.

Although the scorelines suggest otherwise, Saipal had shown promise with the way they fared in the first quarter on Friday. NPC only managed to take a slim one-point (15-14) lead in the first quarter. Saipal also managed to take lead in the second quarter at 18-17 but two 3-pointers from Malla and one from Preeti Tulachan helped them race away in the game.

Malla scored eight points in the second quarter for NPC who headed into the second half with a 35-28 lead. Another 21-15 lead in the third quarter handed a 13-point lead heading into the decider at 56-43. Saipal gave a tough contest in the final quarter which ended 15-15. While Malla sunk three 3-pointers, her sister Alisha Malla sunk four 3-pointers to contribute 16 points.

Shreya Khadka and Tulachan also netted nine points apiece. Shreya also had 10 rebounds in the game. Sushma Gautam scored 15 points for Saipal and Amisha Ghale rolled in 13 points. The women's double league concludes on Saturday with ISO Kite taking on NPC and Gorillas playing Saipal. The top two teams will directly compete in the final slated for June 22.

Published: 08-06-2019 08:01

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