The national basketball team lost to the Maldives by four baskets yesterday in the ongoing FIBA Asia Cup 2021 SABA qualifier in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Bhutan played the Maldives after they secured first international win over Nepal in the previous game. However, the team suffered 66-74 loss to the Maldives at Dhanmondi Indoor Gymnasium in Dhaka.

An official escorting the team at the pre-qualifier tournament said the squad entered the match on a positive note after defeating Nepal the previous day to bring home the first international win of one the popular sports in the country.

“Today, the boys are feeling little down because the Maldives was one of the teams with whom we had a better chance. The qualifier has become difficult now,” general secretary of Bhutan Basketball Federation, Sonam Tobgay said. “However, we have a game against Sri Lanka and we hope the results would favor us.”

Of the five participating teams, Bhutan has played the highest number of three games against Bangladesh, Nepal and the Maldives so far.

In the game that saw the national team fall short by four baskets, the team managed to win the first quarter. However, the match saw the Maldives dominate the last two quarters with 43 points to win the game. Bhutan won 25 points in the same quarters.

Led by a coach from Korea, Kim, and captain Rinchen Dorji the squad filled by maximum young players recorded their first international win against Nepal on June 26.

“The team has performed well so far. We have been practicing for the past three months and the hard work is paying off. We hope to give another tough fight for our last game against Sri Lanka,” said Rinchen Dorji.

The national team plays its last qualifier match against Sri Lanka tomorrow.