The Philippine School remain the ones to beat as the NSL narrows down to the final four teams in both age groups for the semi-finals.
Led by star guard John Carlo Bautista, The Philippine School (TPS) will face hosts Victoria International School Sharjah (VISS) as the under-16 squads meet on Saturday.
After dominating group play with a perfect 3-0 mark, TPS put to rest any doubt of their prowess by earning a 52-36 blowout victory in the quarter-finals against 21st Century, previously unbeaten in their own right.
VISS, meanwhile, split their four contests in group play before upsetting Our Own Al Warqa’a in a thrilling comeback during the first knockout stage. Our Own Al Warqa’a were the only team to threaten TPS during group play, losing by one point.
The clash between the schools this weekend will feature three of the top five scorers in the age group, with Bautista coming up against the VISS duo of Hashim Hazeem and Ahmed Abdulle.
In the other under-16 match-up, Dubai International Academy (DIA) face New Filipino Private School (NFPS).
Both sides have yet to drop a game, but play different styles. DIA run through leader Tanishq Sughnani, who’s helped carry the shorthanded team of six players to this point.
The dynamic point guard has recently received extra attention from opposing defences and saw him being marked on occasions in the quarter-final win against Philippine Emirates Private School (PEPS).
His team-mates, however, took advantage of the open opportunities and proved they are no one-man team.
NFPS, meanwhile, have a balanced attack with no one player necessarily near the top of the individual statistics table.
They had the best point differential of the tournament during group play at plus-116 and are equally strong on both ends of the court.
The highlight game of under-14 pits giant-killers Delhi Private School (DPS) Sharjah against Indian High School Dubai.
Indian Hoopstar already eliminated their toughest competition in the bracket when they defeated then-unbeaten NFPS in the quarter-finals, but after fighting back for a confidence-boosting win against 21st Century last week, DPS Sharjah are far from an easy out.
The winner will take on either the International School of Choueifat (ISC) Abu Dhabi or Dubai College in the finals.
ISC have a tandem of paint threats in Kareem Eid and Gohar Hussain, while Dubai College are making the most of their wild card entry into the knockout stage
after finishing third in their group in round-robin play.
All four games for both under-16 and under-14 will take place at VISS, which will also host the finals the following week.
Sport360 brings you all the action from the National School League Basketball quarter finals played in Dubai, as the final four teams in both age groups are decided after a thrilling day's play.
The NSL Basketball semi finals take place on Saturday 30th May at Victoria International School Sharjah.
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The stars of the NSL were out in full-force as Tanishq Sughnani and John Carlo Bautista led their squads through the quarter-finals in Dubai on Saturday night.
Sughnani’s Dubai International Academy (DIA) remained unbeaten with a nail-biting 38-32 victory over Philippine Emirates Private School (PEPS) in the under-16 category at GEMS Sports Academy.
PEPS did everything in their power to limit Sughnani, who entered the contest tied for the most points in the age group at 62. The point guard faced constant ball-denial, as well as double-teams and triple-teams whenever he touched the ball.
Sughnani still finished with 16 points, but his team-mates stepped up as Avineet Gouri and Francis Christle had seven points each in one of the team’s better collective performances in the tournament.
On the other side of the under-16 bracket, Bautista’s game-high 27 points gave The Philippine School (TPS) all the ammunition they needed to take down previously-undefeated 21st Century Private School, 52-36.
The early going saw Centurians in control as they held an 8-5 lead over TPS at the end of the first quarter.
After that, however, the zone defence of TPS clamped down and converted turnovers and missed shots into easy transition points.
In under-14, Delhi Private School Sharjah (DPS) fought back to earn an upset win against 21st Century, 32-23.
Centurians were ahead for most of the contest before a 3-pointer by DPS with just less than two minutes remaining gave the underdogs a lead they wouldn’t surrender.
The only Abu Dhabi school to have success in Dubai was the International School of Choueifat (ISC), who beat GEMS Modern Academy 36-28 in under-14.
Kareem Eid had a double-double with 14 points and 17 rebounds to add to his NSL-leading numbers on the boards. The match-ups for the semi-finals are set, with times to follow this week at www.sport360.com/nsl.