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for champs St Mary’s
Moni Mathews / 26 November 2012
Emirates International School (EIS) stunned defending champions St Mary’s Catholic High School (STM) 42-41 in a Round 3 league thriller of the second UAE High School Basketball Championship (UAEHSBC) at Jumeirah College (JC) on Friday.
The second game of the day in Dubai-Group A, witnessed hosts JC set aside Dubai International School (DIS) 40-29.
The Dh50,000 first prize 3SM run UAEHSBC, the only broad spectrum school basketball tourney in the country, is backed by the Ajman University of Science and Technology, Decathlon and Noor Dubai and is sanctioned by the UAE Basketball Association.
The website - hsbchampionship.com provides the latest information including a NBA styled stat section with scores, standings and individual performances as per the official scoresheet of every game, a first of its kind in the country at the grassroot level.
Fifteen teams initially play during the weekends in four separate groups at appointed school venues in Dubai and Sharjah before the knockout round qualifiers move on to the indoor stadium at Al Wasl Club for the later stages.
STM, nicknamed Saintz were off to a slow start. They trailed EIS by 4 points at the end of the first quarter until eventually finding their rhythm thanks to the excellent playmaking by point guard Nicolas Mendoza. In the process, he smashed the league’s assist record - dishing out 7 on Friday. By the end of the second quarter (half-time H/T), with efficient shooting from Justin Mercado and Ronnel Cortez, the explosive scoring tandem combined for all of STM’s 22 first half points, and held on to a 5-point lead at the lemon break, a media post match analysis mentioned.
EIS with better marshalled raids had a telling effect on STM defence zones from the beginning of the third quarter.
STM’s smaller guards resorted to a perimeter game, as they found every opportunity inside heavily contested.
EIS reeled back using their own tandem: UAE’s very own Saeed Al Rais led EIS with 15 points, 2 assists, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals; and Dylan Mendonca contributed with another 13 points. Despite Mercado leading STM, and all other scorers with 18 points, his last second 3-pointer was too little too late as EIS held on to their lead, and a stunning upset of the defending champions 42 -41.
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