St Joseph’s Colombo emerged victorious at the all island under-20 Division ‘A’ Basketball Championship 2022, when they beat Royal Colombo 68-52 in the final held on 19 May at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium. The championship was held after a lapse of 3 years due to the covid-19 pandemic.
The championship was organized by Sri Lanka School’s Basketball Association and sponsored by Gaja Sports. Over 50 teams took part in 5 Divisions (boys and girls) and matches were played at a few venues in Colombo. The knockout rounds were played at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium for the first time and games were telecast live on social media. The Josephians came in to the tournament as favourites and they lived up to expectations from the word go. In the group stage they beat Gateway Kandy 60-38, Mahinda Galle 75-38, Angel International School Jaffna 75-32 and LPF Academy Dehiwala 90-38. The quarter-final against Ananda Colombo was the most anticipated game of the tournament which lived up to its expectations, The Josephians went on to register a close 62-57 win. The Josephians dominated DS Senanayake Colombo in the semi-final 87-36 to set up the final against Royal Colombo.
Skipper Shehan Fernando and Keith Costa were the key players in the Josephians offence while Shannon de Zilva’s defensive game in rebounding and protecting the paint was vital for the Josephians success right throughout the tournament. Deservingly Shehan Fernando was adjudged the Most Valuable Player, while Keith Costa was awarded the Best Offensive Player. Young Shehan Fernando is a promising basketball player and was selected to the national basketball pool recently. He was also instrumental to carry his team to bag the under-15 and 17 titles. He ends his school career with a 100% record, which is a rare feat in schools’ basketball.
The support crew comprising Head Coach Randima Sooriyaarachchi (former national captain) and Coach Shane Daniel, did a remarkable job, and they have been the pillars of success for many years.
Under the leadership of current national player Praneeth Udumalagala, who is the Skills Development Coach, St. Joseph’s won the under-19 title in 2012.