Delmege and Seylan win cager titles
by Rex Clementine

Delmege Group avenged their humiliating loss to Sampath Bank in Mercantile Super League finals two months ago by winning the precious HNB Semi League Cup in the ‘A’ Division finals of the Mercantile Services Basketball tournament at the Otters court Friday evening. Sampath bank who had remained unbeaten in the tournament and the defending champions of the competition came into the game with plenty of confidence but received a taste of their own medicine as Delmege walked away with a comfortable 38 point victory and narrowly missed the humiliation of giving away a three figure score. The final score was 97-59

Played in front of a packed house with supporters firmly behind the teams, Sampath Bank conceded a heavy lead in the first quarter and during rest of the game were only playing catch up. At the breather, Delmege had scored 50 points compared to Sampath Bank’s 25.

Aggressive defending and accurate shooting was the key to Delmege Group’s success and the quality of their bench strength too stood in good stead for the leading firm in local basketball. Sampath Bank, meanwhile, tried to play to the same pace of the opponents instead of slowing things a bit and that along with awful shooting was their weak link in the keenly anticipated final.

Sampath Bank, indeed, caught up in the third quarter scoring 17 points compared to Delmege’s four, but the initial lead they gave away haunted them throughout.

The experienced Roshan Gunasekara of Delmege Group proved that still he’s improving with some excellent plays. The tall ex-Mazenodian had improved his shooting tremendously and some of his lay ups against an agile opposition took the admiration of everyone along with his excellent passing.

Shanaka Silva, an up and coming player, too impressed everyone with his excellent ball handling skills and narrowly missed the Best Player’s Award which was won by Prageeth Pushpakumara, probably the best player in Delmege Group.

Meanwhile, Seylan Bank captained by Jayaliya Kumari, and comprising several national players, won the women’s final by five points beating David Peiris Motor Company. The final score was 57-52.

Benika Thalagala was adjudged the Best Player.

The Champion Seylan Bank team consisted of: Premila Fernando, Inoka Sandamali, Amaya Kalpani, Jayaliya Kumari (Captain), Benika Thalagala, Rasuni Karunaratne and Gaya Jayaweera.

The Champion Delmege Group team consisted of: Roshan Gunasekara, Vijay Basker, Niroshan Dansuha, Prageeth Puskpaumara, Roshan Randima, Ranpath Mendis, Diluk Himantha (Captain) and Shanaka Perera.


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