South Siders wilt again as Joshi, Dangol hand Golden Gate victory in Basketball League

- Sports Bureau, Kathmandu

May 20, 2019-

Rajiv Joshi and Bikram Dangol combined for crucial 20 points in the final quarter as defending champions Golden Gate International Club defeated South Siders Basketball Club 83-62 for their fifth win in the Nepal Basketball League on Sunday.

In their see-saw match away to South Siders’ home court at the St Xavier’s College, Golden Gate raced ahead in the last seven minutes where the hosts managed just two points. South Siders were in the heels of Golden Gate when a two-pointer from Wisdom Pandey made it a one-point game at 61-60 with 7:05 remaining in the final quarter.

Dangol converted two free shots and a three, and two from Joshi made it 68-60 with six minutes remaining. After drawing another foul, Dangol converted two free throws for a 10-point lead at 70-60 with 5:24 remaining. Rabin Gautam’s two made it 70-62 with four minutes remaining but from there on South Siders failed to score. Golden Gate scored 29 points in the final quarter and Siders added just nine.

Golden Gate had started the day with a slim one-point (18-17) lead in the first quarter and they headed into the final period with that narrow margin after both teams scored 17 and 19 points each in the second and third quarters. Dangol scored 23 points for Golden Gate, who stand third in the standings with 13 points from eight games. The losing side also gets one-point in the tournament.

Joshi netted 13. Minesh Shakya had a double-double for South Siders with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Siders are pitted at the bottom in the eight-team league with just one win from eight games and now head towards elimination from group stage.

In the morning game, Saurav Shrestha once again proved pivotal in Budhanilkantha Municipality Basketball Club’s victory as the youngster scored a whopping 39 points in 98-68 crushing of Royal Basketball Club in Golfutar. Shrestha had rolled in a league record of 50 points in Budhanilkantha’s 90-74 victory over Kirtipur on May 17 and continued his sublime form, this time at home, making impact overall with 11 rebounds and six assists. He also scored five three-pointers. The victory keeps Budhanlikantha on course for the playoffs with four wins from nine matches.

RBC, who were stunned by a lowly Kirtipur Basketball Team 63-61 in a close finish on Saturday, have gone on to win their sixth straight game despite making a flying start to the tournament winning their first two away games. The top four teams after the double round robin league will enter the playoffs.

Royal took a 25-24 lead in the first quarter before Budhanilkantha imposed their authority in the game. The hosts built a three-point lead after scoring 23 points in the second quarter where Royal netted 19. The momentum completely shifted towards Budhanilkantha in the third quarter after they scored 27 points and stopped the visitors on nine for a 21-point lead heading into the decider.

Royal hardly recovered from that setback and succumbed 25-15 in the final quarter. Skipper Biraj Rana also chipped in 15 points in Budhanilkantha victory. Nikesh Rakhal Magar netted 23 points for the losing side and took 10 rebounds. Anish Magar sunk three three-pointers to score 16 for Royal.

Times International Club can close the gap with leaders Tribhuvan Army Club if they beat Golden Gate on Monday which is the resumption of their May 16 game. The match had to be called off when Times were leading 66-36 at home with 5:10 remaining in the final quarter. Army have 17 points from nine games and Times have 14 from seven. After playing the remaining 5:10 minutes against Golden Gate, they will then host Budhanilkantha in the second evening game.

Published: 20-05-2019 11:53

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