As Nations Cup approaches its end, the final matches for various sports are currently being held. The men’s basketball finals were held on the 19th of November from 8-10 PM. While Egypt and Sri Lanka competed for bronze, Malaysia played against Indonesia to win Gold. The final women’s basketball matches were held on the 19th of November from 8-10 PM. With the exact same countries as last year, the finals began with the first match, Maldives going up against Egypt for Bronze, followed by Sri Lanka versus Malaysia, for Gold.
Egypt vs Sri Lanka
From the start, this match was one of the most heated and intense matches of the night. While it seemed at first that Egypt had the advantage, Sri Lanka put up a good fight. Sri Lanka got a free throw before taking a timeout with 51 seconds to end of first half. The score didn’t change after they resumed, with Egypt in the lead with 12-9. Sri Lanka was given one last shot at scoring as the first half ended.
The second half started with Egypt scoring first. Although it seemed that both teams were able to score, more due to efforts by a couple of individuals, which is to be assumed are their “aces”. However, Egypt managed to change and improve their game during the second half, as they started adopting a more team coordinated approach. This forced the Sri Lankan team to up their defence as well. During the last 2 minutes of the match, the Sri Lankan “ace” fell to the ground, seemingly injured and in pain. Consequently, there was a change of players by the Sri Lankan team, although the injured player quickly made a return to the court with 30 seconds left. The final score was 28-15 as Egypt took home Bronze.
Indonesia vs Malaysia
Indonesia, in white, and Malaysia, in navy blue, swiftly and coordinately moved from end to end of the court. After a while of not being able to score by any team, the momentum of the match quickly changed as both teams played impressively, and the score changed to 1-6 with Malaysia taking the lead. The first free throw was by the Malaysian team, with 4 minutes left, as the score changed to 8-15 with Malaysia still on the lead. This was followed by another free throw for Malaysia, with three minutes left. Towards the end of the first half, a massive outburst of support came from the Indonesian supporters to cheer on their players as Malaysia was in the lead by a huge margin, with the score 20-12.
As the second half started, both teams were recharged and started off strong, trying their best to win. However, towards the end, long passes increased from both teams as they tried to score desperately. The Indonesian team was not able to catch up to the Malaysian team as they maintained their lead through out the second half. The match ended with Malaysia taking gold by a landslide, with the score 52-22.
Egypt vs Maldives
As the match started, it was clear that both teams were seriously playing for the win. The inherent aggressiveness of basketball was undoubtedly showing as both teams gave their best in defence and offense, to score for their countries. Early in the first half, it seemed that the Maldivian team was coordinating more moves to score, while Egypt tried their best to defend. The momentum, however, changed quickly as both teams played head to head, and tied, leaving the supporters on edge. Maldives slowly started taking the lead again, followed by team Egypt’s request for a timeout, with 3 more minutes left. The first half ended with scores 6-11, as Maldives took the lead by a great margin.
The second half started with a more offensive play by Egypt as they attempted to catch up, with Maldives already in the lead. Egypt continued to improve their play, but Maldives gave a good fight as they upped their game as well and remained their lead position throughout the match. The match ended with scores 15-19 as Maldives took their victory by a close call.
Malaysia vs Sri Lanka
Many supporters gathered for both teams, as the big match for gold commenced. The first half started with Malaysia scoring first, followed quickly by Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka mostly did longer yet sharp passes while Malaysia showed more trick passes in their play. In this seemingly smooth, easy-to-watch game, a foul was made by a Malaysian player with around two minutes to go. After a minute, the Sri Lankan team took a time out, after playing head to head throughout the half, until Malaysia took the lead by 4 points with the score 8-12. The half ended with a close score of 12-14, with Malaysia in the lead.
Malaysia scored first as the second half began. Both teams were showing great group coordination and finesse during this fast-paced match. With around 6 minutes remaining, Malaysia took their first timeout of the match as now Sri Lanka was a point ahead, with the score 16-17. Quickly after the game resumed, the Sri Lankan team scored the match’s first 3 pointer which prompted a massive outburst from the teams’ supporters. However, by the next timeout with less than 4 minutes left to the game, the Malaysians were on the lead by 24-19. Sri Lanka tried one last attempt to score when the final whistle blew, and the match ended with the score 38-27, and Malaysia won Gold while Silver went to Sri Lanka.
Silver: Sri Lanka
Written by Rayya Hussain
Photography by Zao Shang