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Mercantile BA and Gampaha BA win openning games

45th Senior National Basketball Championship:

Mercantile Basketball Association trounced Sri Lanka Schools Basketball Association 80 points to 59 yesterday in their opening encounter in the womenís division of the 45th Senior National Basketball Championship which is now in progress at the St. Josephís Girlís Schoolís courts Nugegoda.

The matches in the menís category are being played at the Police Depot Courts Bambalapitiya. The tournament is being organised by the Basketball Federation of Sri Lanka.

The winners took a commanding 39 points to 29 lead at half time. Skipper Kumarine de Silva with a massive 25 points, Inoka Sadamalie (16) and Asiaís womenís number two cager Premila Fernando with nine points lifted Mercantile BA while Anjalie Ekanayake, Wathsala Dhananjali and Sulochana Rathnasekara who scored thirteen points each excelled for Schools BA.

In the other womenís fixture Colombo Basketball Association posted a convincing 95 points to 69 win over Sri Lanka Air Force BA after grabbing a close lead of three points (39-36) at the half time at same venue.

Sanali Weerasuriya (36), Prasadi Fonseka (23) and Sanduni Udeshika (17) stood out for the winners while P. Chandima (26) and Phamali Perera (12) were the best shooters for Sri Lanka Air Force BA.

In another encounter, Gampaha Basketball Association beat Sri Lanka Army Basketball Association 82-63 in their opening match of the menís division played at Depot Police courts, Bambalapitiya.

The scores stood at 35 points to 30 in favour of Gampaha Basketball Association at the short whistle.

Jayaratne (28), Jeewan Priyankara (18) and Shamal (10) were the top scorers for the winners while H.I. Kodikara (15), W.N.R. Fernando with nine and D.P.R. Herath with six points did well for Sri Lanka Army.

The tournament will be continued today with Colombo BA meeting Schools BA and Kandy BA taking on Air Force BA in the womenís section in Nugegoda. Puttalam BA will confront Sri Lanka Air Force BA while Gampaha BA will meet Galle BA in the menís category at Depot Police, courts today.

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