Basketball teams leave for Singapore today

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Sri Lanka’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will leave the island today (Tuesday) for the fifth edition of FIBA Asia 3X3 basketball tournament that will be held in Marine Bay Sands, Singapore. The tournament will be worked off from 6 to 10 July.

Both teams have been training hard for over two months for the event, and there’s lot of excitement to see how the teams will fare. Like T-20 cricket, 3X3 in basketball is a condensed version where only three players per side compete. The duration of the game is ten minutes; or if a team scores 21 points inside the ten minutes, the game ends. The women’s team comprising Anjalee Ekanayake, Benika Thalagala, Nehari Perera and Lubna Morseth earned automatic qualification. The team will face Taiwan and one of the qualifiers in the first round.

“We are heading to Singapore after good preparation. It’s been great training hard as a team for a considerable period of time targeting this event, and we are looking forward to put up a good show,” said Benika Thalagala, who has represented the country for over a decade.

The men’s team skippered by Chanuka Fernando includes Pawan Gamage, Nimesh Fernando and Dasun Nilantha.

“There has been lot of basketball lead up to the Asia Cup and all of us are looking forward for this challenge. In our group we have to face China as well and that’s quite a challenge, as they are one of the strong teams in the region. Nevertheless, we are looking forward to this,” said Pawan Gamage.