National

Shrestha tosses in record 50 points in Budhanilkantha’s victory over Kirtipur

- ADARSHA DHAKAL, Kathmandu

May 18, 2019-

Saurab Shrestha tossed in a record 50 points as Budhanilkantha Municipality Basketball Club defeated lowly Kirtipur Basketball Team 90-74 in the Nepal Basketball League on Friday.

Shrestha, the latest entrant in the senior national team, rolled in 18 two-pointers and three three-pointers in a match-winning performance that set a new game record of highest individual score in the league’s first two editions. He bettered the previous best mark of 42 points set by Times International College captain Sadhish Pradhan. Pradhan achieved the points in their first match against Nepal Police Club on April 27.

It was third victory for Budhanilkantha in eight games and keep them alive in the race for the top four spots that will guarantee playoff spots following the double round robin league. Kirtipur, who had stunned Nepal Police Club in the only match they have won so far, were condemned to their sixth defeat in seven games making their playoff chances very slim.

Playing away to Kirtipur, Budhanilkantha began the match with an eight-point (22-14) advantage in the first quarter before stretching it to 10 points taking the second period 18-16. Kirtipur did reduce the deficit to four points heading into the decider after a 25-19 lead in the third quarter but Shrestha continued to impress on his day handing Budhanilkantha a much-needed victory.

Budhanilkantha took the final quarter 31-19. Man-of-the-match Shrestha had six rebounds and three assists. Rupesh Napit also scored 21 points for Budhanilkantha, while captain Biraj Rana had 11 points and seven assists.

Defending champions Golden Gate International Club gave a strong performance in the second quarter crushing Royal Basketball Club 102-84 in a return leg at home to get their fourth victory. The holders had struggled against a youthful Royals against whom they needed an Over Time to win 105-100 in Sangaun.

However, Friday was an easy ride for them after they went into the second half with a strong 30-point lead. Golden Gate took a 29-22 lead in the first quarter and left the visitors clueless with an imposing 32-9 performance in the second period. Royal did put a challenge in the remaining two periods but were unable to overturn the deficit at any point of the game.

The third quarter was tied at 24-24, while Royal led the final period 29-18. Binod Shrestha was the top performer for Golden Gate scoring 23 points including seven three-pointers. Indian recruit Yogesh Kanderia also had 17 points in the team’s victory along with 16 rebounds. After winning their first two away matches, Royal have lost their fourth consecutive game out of the total six.

In a departmental duel on Saturday, provisional leaders Tribhuvan Army Club will take on Nepal Police Club at home in Bhadrakali. Royal will be up against Kirtipur in Sanogaun. Army currently leads the standings with 15 points and if Times International Club (15 pts) win their postponed match against Golden Gate, they will regain the lead.

Times were leading 72-42 when their home match against Golden Gate was called off due to rain with 5:10 remaining in the third quarter on Thursday. The match will resume from the same point on a new date.

Published: 18-05-2019 08:45

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