U14 and U16 NSL teams set for knockout battles this weekend

Jay Asser 06:24 21/05/2015
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Knockout time: NSL basketball.

Heavyweight match-ups between unbeaten teams highlight the quarter-finals of the National School League Basketball this weekend.

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The under-16 features two of the best schools in the age group going head-to-head as Dubai’s The Philippine School meets 21st Century Private School on Saturday at GEMS Sports Academy.

Centurians dominated group play in Abu Dhabi, finishing a perfect 4-0, while The Philippine School won all three of their contests in Dubai.

John Carlo Bautista has been the offensive catalyst for The Philippine School, finishing with the third most points in his region at 49.

The shooting guard gave defences problems with his ability to attack the rim, as well as step back and knock down 3-pointers.

Centurians boast a more balanced offence, facilitated by Jon Maynard Hernandez who has the second most assists in under-16 with 14.

NFPS are among those competing in both age groups.

The player with the highest assist total at 15, John Lazo, will spur Philippine Emirates Private School (PEPS) against undefeated Dubai International Academy (DIA) at GEMS. 

PEPS won three of their four contests with their only slip-up coming to 21st Century in a 46-39 loss in the second week.

DIA, meanwhile, were powered to wins in all three of their games on the efforts of star player Tanishq Sughnani. The dynamic guard tied with Renston Crasta of Our Own Al Warqa’a for the highest total in the age group with 62 points.

Crasta and Our Own will face Victoria International School of Sharjah (VISS), while the New Filipino Private School (NFPS), which had the best point differential in the age group at plus-116, will try to advance past Dubai British School in the other under-16 meetings at VISS.

The only teams in the entire NSL to win all five of their contests will clash in the under-14 category when NFPS Patriots and the Indian High School Dubai play at VISS.

NFPS Patriots enter with more points scored, 179 to 153, fewer points allowed, 79 to 91, and a better point differential at plus-100 to plus-62.

Indian Hoopstar though, played in arguably a tougher region, which had three other teams with winning records, compared to two other teams in Sharjah for NFPS.

While they just missed qualifying for the knockout stage in under-16, the International School of Choueifat (ISC) Abu Dhabi went 3-0 in under-14. They’ll face GEMS Sports Academy at GEMS.

The other games in the age group will pit Emirates National School against Dubai College at VISS and Centurians against Delhi Private School (DPS) Sharjah at GEMS.

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