Gateway beat Joes to annex U-17 title

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By 2017-08-13

By Karuppiah Ramakrishnan

CT Sports: Gateway College Colombo won the Under-17 All Island 'A' Division Basketball Championship beating St. Joseph's College Colombo in the Cup final played at the Gateway College court in Rajagiriya recently.

The Gateway team remained unbeaten throughout the tournament, displaying both tremendous courage and commitment, especially in the semi-final and final. They won a hard fought semi-final against Lyceum Nugegoda 64-61 and in the final they beat St. Joseph's in a nail biting thriller 75-74.

At the end of full time the scores were tied 67-67, but Gateway lads held their nerve to win 75 -74 during five minutes of overtime.

Gateway's Mirtesh Thurairajah was named the Most Valuable Player and Nikhil Jayasinghe the Best Defensive Player of the tournament.

Shehan Fernando of St. Joseph's was named the Best Offensive Player.

Gateway's Captain Chavaan De Costa played a pivotal role in the tournament by providing good leadership. The unbeaten team included Nikhil Jayasinghe (Vice Captain), Iqram Iqbal, Mirthesh Thurairajah, Thiasha Ratnayake, Tharin Ranawaka, Humam Rezk, Akalanka Gunaratne, Yacoob Mohammed, J'shan Ahamadeen, Nethum Ranawaka and Akindu Galappatti. In the preliminary rounds, Gateway beat S. Thomas College, Mt. Lavinia 57-37 and Lyceum Int. School Wattala 96-51 and in the quarters beat St. Peter's College Bambalapitiya 61-41.

Speaking to Ceylon Today, head coach and FIBA international coach Tharindu Fernando said, "Overall teamwork helped us to emerge champions and take the title. Of special note is that it is the same team members who played in the team that won the U-15 title last year who represented the U-17 this year."

From the quarter-final onwards the matches were played at the Gateway Basketball court supporting the Sri Lanka School Basketball Association. These courts were recently upgraded to international standard.

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