With the Inter Uni games edging to its conclusion and with the Universities fighting over for the top spot in the University sports arena, it was time for the Basketball action to unfold. University of Peradeniya played the role of hosts on 27th, 28th and 29th of January, where the Women’s group and quarterfinal matches were held at the Kandy Municipal Indoor Stadium while the Men’s matches, Women’s semis and final where held at the University of Peradeniya Gymnasium.
Both Women’s and Men’s categories were conducted in 4 groups which included 3 teams each with the exception of Men’s group D with 4 teams.
Group A: University of Sri Jayewardenepura, University of Kelaniya, University of Jaffna
Group B: University of Colombo, Eastern University, Sabaragamuwa University
Group C: University of Moratuwa, Rajarata University, University of Ruhuna
Group D: University of Jaffna, University of Peradeniya, Wayamba University
Group A: University of Sri Jayewardenepura, South Eastern University, University of Jaffna
Group B: University of Moratuwa, University of Colombo, Uva Wellassa University
Group C: University of Kelaniya, Wayamba University, Sabaragamuwa University
Group D: University of Ruhuna, University of Peradeniya, Eastern University, Rajarata University
The Women’s group stage matches opened up with the University of Sri Jayewardenepura facing Uva Wellassa University. The Japura side left no chance to the ladies from Uva, where they dominated the match 48 : 08. The Uva side had trouble breaking through their opponents and this continued with their next match against University of Kelaniya where the score was 56 : 02. University of Kelaniya and University of Sri Jayewardenepura were qualified for the quarters but the match to choose in what order they would proceed was won by Kelaniya 37 : 18.
University of Moratuwa eased past Rajarata University and University of Ruhuna to lead Group C and Ruhuna’s win over Rajarata got them qualified for the quarters as well.
Without a doubt the most exciting Women’s group stage matches panned out in group B where the Colombo, Sabra and Eastern ladies went toe to toe with each other to reach the quarters and the chants of the crowd were at its peak. Sabra side proved too strong of a team and managed to pass on as the leaders of the group where the Colombo side followed through.
In group D University of Jaffna eased their way through to the lead while the hosts University of Peradeniya followed them with their win over Wayamba University.
Moving along to the men’s matches, it was the hosts who opened up the day with a huge win of 83 : 36 over Rajarata University where they followed it up with wins over Ruhuna and Eastern to top group D. University of Ruhuna followed them in the second spot.
In group C University of Moratuwa and University of Colombo made initial strides over Uva Wellassa University to move on to the quarters. With the Mora sides 58 : 43 victory over Colombo, it was University of Moratuwa who led the group.
In group A the South Eastern University was overrun by the Japura and Jaffna sides. Japura side came on top of the group with a 67 : 46 over Jaffna to lead group A.
In group C it was the Sabra and Kelaiya sides who moved themselves up to the quarters with Sabra in the lead. The Sabra vs Kelaniya match was particularly thrilling with only 5 points separating the two teams at the end of four quarters.
With that everything was set for the quarterfinals, with the winner of each group facing the runner-up of the following group.
Kelaniya vs Ruhuna
Moratuwa vs Japura
Sabaragamuwa vs Peradeniya
Jaffna vs Colombo
Japura vs Kelaniya
Sabaragamuwa vs Jaffna
Moratuwa vs Ruhuna
Peradeniya vs Colombo
The battle towards victory continued on the evening of 28th with the quarter-finals. In the Kandy Municipal Council Indoor Stadium, the fight was on, between the ladies. University of Kelaniya were the first ones to mark their place in the semis with their 30 : 17 victory over University Ruhuna. Sabaragamuwa University made it rather comfortable in their match against the hosts, easing themselves to the semis with a score of 45 : 17. The highlights from the women’s quarters were the matches between Japura vs Pera and Jaffna vs Colombo. The former being a close one with 48 : 39, just 9 points separating the two teams. Colombo’s strong fight was not enough to keep the charging Jaffna players at bay, losing out to 58 : 40.
In the Men’s quarters Japura and Kelaniya sides were the first to meet and it was an exhilarating match to witness. The Kelaniya side was able to come on top with a score of 51 : 42. Sabaragamuwa University followed them to the semis with their win over Jaffna. University of Moratuwa and the hosts, University of Peradeniya eased themselves past Ruhuna and Colombo side to mark their spots in the semi-finals.
Kelaniya vs Jaffna
Moratuwa vs Sabaragamuwa
Kelaniya vs Peradeniya
Moratuwa vs Sabaragamuwa
The sun broke through the sky in the morning of 29th at Peradeniya and it was time to witness the epic conclusion of the basketball campaign of the Inter University Games. The University of Peradeniya Gymnasium was roaring with the cheers of the fans and it was time for the energetic undergraduates to display their talents.
University of Jaffna Women’s team were the first ones to mark their place in the final with an eased 56 : 36 victory over University of Kelaniya. Their ball control and passing was on point, which left Kelaniya a bare chance to fight back. Sabaragamuwa University moved themselves up to the final with a strong victory over University of Moratuwa 53 : 22. The coordination between the Sabra players was quite admirable, taking maximum advantage of the rebounds.
With the women’s final all set, the men’s semis went underway. Both of the matches were won with a bare margin and none of the teams showed any sign of giving up. University of Kelaniya were the first ones to make it through to the final over the hosts, just 3 points separating the two (73 : 70), they were followed by University of Moratuwa, just 5 points making the difference for them against Sabaragamuwa University (79 : 72).
Before the finals the consolation finals went underway with Kelaniya winning over Mora in the women’s campaign and Sabra winning over Pera in the men’s campaign.
With the group stage, quarters and semis done and dusted, the stage was set to distinguish the best of the best in the University Basketball Arena. The stands of the Pera Gymnasium was full with energetic fans who engage themselves to the maximum to cheer their teams,
A heated battle panned out between University of Jaffna and Sabaragamuwa University in the Women’s final but University of Jaffna were able to pull off their opponents midway through. Sabra side tried their best to make a comeback but eventually failed with Jaffna side making it a successful Inter Uni Games for themselves with a 57 : 30 victory, marking themselves as the Women’s Champions.
The Men’s side was set to last and both teams gave an epic game of basketball with their skills and talents. It was University of Moratuwa who made a strong run in the match, who came out as the winners with 73 points to themselves against the 51 points of University of Kelaniya. University of Moratuwa marked themselves as the Men’s champions of the Inter University Games 2022.
With their victories, University of Moratuwa and Sabaragamuwa University were able to close in on the leading pair in the points table but still Japura stands at the top with COlombo following. With just a handful of games to carry out, it’s all up for grabs in the Inter University Games. Stay tuned with MoraSpirit for the instant updates and game follow ups.