Kirtipur edge Royal in a thrilling finish; Army defeat Police

- Sports Bureau, Kathmandu

May 19, 2019-

Kirtipur Basketball Team fought back hard to stun Royal Basketball Court 61-63 in a thrilling two-point victory for their second win in the Kwiks Nepal Basketball League on Saturday.

Playing away to Royal in Sanogaun, Kirtipur were trailing 34-53 with 3:23 remaining in the third quarter. Royal went into the final quarter with a 53-38 lead but what folded in front of them in the final period was unbelievable for them. Sagar Thapa and Suraj Khadgi assisted each other to keep reducing the gap, while Royal had multiple turn overs.

Thapa made it a six-point game with a two-pointer with 6:30 minutes remaining. Anil Khadgi Shahi tied the game at 59-59 with 2:13 remaining after he drew a foul following another Royal turn over and converted both free throws. Another two from Thapa handed them lead for the first time in the game with 1:16 remaining.

Neekesh Rakhal Magar tied the game converting both free throws with one minute remaining but Suraj regained the lead sinking both free shots and Kirtipur held on for the last 28 seconds for their second victory in the tournament. Kirtipur scored 25 points in the final quarter when Royal could manage eight.

Royal had begun the game with a 10-point (22-12) lead in the first quarter and another 13-12 cushion in the second handed them a clear advantage. The lead ballooned to 15 points after the hosts controlled the third quarter 18-14. Man-of-the-match Thapa scored 12 points and had 13 points for Kirtipur apart from three steals and as many assists.

Shahi scored 15 points for Kirtipur and made four blocks. Magar top scored in the game for Royal with 17 points. Royal now have gone five matches without victory after winning their first two games of the tournament.

In a departmental duel at the Army Headquarters in Bhadrakali, Tribhuvan Army Club saw off Nepal Police Club 75-67 to remain at the top of the table with eight victories from nine matches. Unbeaten Times International College are second with 14 points but can topple Army if they defeat Golden Gate International Club in their May 16 game which was called off.

Police were the surprise leaders in the game after they took the first quarter 17-16. Army settled in the second quarter scoring 22 points and stopped Police on 16 for a five-point advantage. Police reduced the gap to four points leading the third quarter 17-16 but Army hit back in the last quarter with 21-17 advantage.

Ayush Singh scored 20 points for the winners with three assists and as many rebounds. Ram Krishna Ghatane also netted 16 points, while Ajay Kuswaha made the impact in defense with seven blocks and 12 rebounds. Bimal Jung Karki poured in 23 points for NPC who have so far not managed to make the most of three Bangladeshi national team recruits. They have won three out of seven games played.

On Sunday, Budhanilkantha Municipality Basketball Club will host Royal in Golfutar and Golden Gate International Club will travel to South Siders Basketball Club at the St Xavier’s College in Maitighar.

Published: 19-05-2019 08:37

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