The Master’s Basketball Sri Lanka (MBSL) is in an upbeat mode to conduct its future competitions and training programmes, after it successfully conducted the Masters’ Basketball League last week. The observation comes after the three-day tournament concluded as MBSL planned, following their comeback effort to bring back basketball activities alive as commented by its President [...]

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MBSL upbeat after successful Masters’ tourney

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The Men's Over-35 final in progress

The Master’s Basketball Sri Lanka (MBSL) is in an upbeat mode to conduct its future competitions and training programmes, after it successfully conducted the Masters’ Basketball League last week.

The observation comes after the three-day tournament concluded as MBSL planned, following their comeback effort to bring back basketball activities alive as commented by its President Gayath Jayasinghe, who also happens to be the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the tournament’s sponsor, Gaja Sports.

The tournament was held from March 26 to 28 at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium with the participation of 34 teams — 28 Men’s and six Women’s. The competition was categorised into four age groups — four in Men’s and two in Women’s.

The Men’s title in Over-35 category was clinched by Blues, who trumped over Bulls Blacks 26-19 while the Women’s title of the same age group was won by NBC, who easily overcame Penguins 33-10 in a direct final.

“Gaja Sports is passionate about developing foundations of sports like basketball, netball football and rugby, and we have agreed to sponsor this tournament for the next five years. The tournament was organised with ease, which satisfied all the participants, and there weren’t any injuries or any complains. Next time the tournament will feature more teams and will be conducted over two weekends, to avoid participants from getting exhausted. The swiftness was there during this three-day tournament, which was quite tiring for them.” stated Jayasinghe, the CEO of Gaja Sports.

In other categories Police SC became winners of Men’s Over-40 while Carlton Moratuwa emerged the Men’s Over-45 champions. They beat Carlton Moratuwa 21-17 and 76ers 23-17 respectively in their final encounters.

The Men’s Over-50 title was won by Bulls who overcame Police SC 14-9 after a low-scoring thriller. The Women’s Over-40 championship was bagged by Carlton Moratuwa who recorded an emphatic win against NBC 22-17 in a close battle.

In the Men’s Over-35 Blues and Bulls Blacks made their way to final after recording comfortable wins against Wattala BC 32-17 and Colombo Spartans 25-16. In the Men’s Over-40 Police SC reached the final after dominating Old Bens 25-10, while Carlton Moratuwa played a tough game to claim a thrilling win against Wattala BC 28-25. In the Men’s Over-45 semi-final, Carlton Moratuwa had a close win against Bulls 19-16 while 76ers easily overcame Untouchables 23-12. In Men’s Over-50, Bulls and Police SC had a trouble-free entry to the finals, winning against Old Sokians 29-14 and Old Bens 17-8 respectively.

In Women’s Over-40 Carlton Moratuwa and NBC entered finals after convincing victories against Penguins 31-4 and Angels 22-7 respectively.

Speaking of the grand success of the tournament, Jayasinghe further stated that the MBSL will move forward with its activities, as they are looking forward to initiate a provincial level campaign including inter-club tournaments and training programmes for school children. The tournaments are planned for weekends, whereas training programmes are slotted for weekdays in the respective districts.

The campaign will begin from Central and North Western provinces in June, followed by progammes Northern and Eastern provinces before culminating in the Southern province. Since basketball is still in the stage of gaining popularity in outstation areas, the MBSL believes that this campaign will create a platform for the basketball players there to engage and compete in their sport, and to showcase and develop their skills as well. The training programmes will not only promote basketball among the school children, but also will give an opportunity for them to learn the sport. Thus, the MBSL aspires to heighten basketball in Sri Lanka through such vivid proposals.

The concluded tournament had 74 games and was played under health guidelines issued by the government authorities. Each game consisted of two 10-minute halves with a two-minute break. For the senior players who looked forward to engage in sporting activities, this created an opportunity for them to showcase their skills and keep basketball alive in them. It made the participants comfortable since Gaja Sports sponsored all the required playing kits. This tournament hopefully will give a kick-start to other basketball tournaments after the two years of layoff due to terrorist? attacks and COVID-19 pandemic.

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