Basketball: Day four of the on-going veterans basketball tournament saw Takins suffer their first defeat 60-54 at the hands of the BCC Bulls at the Swimming Pool Complex in Thimphu yesterday.

The match started sluggishly as both the teams struggled to find a comfort zone. Only in the dying seconds of the first quarter, glimpses of competition were observed with both the teams trying to end the quarter with a decisive lead. However, the quarter ended with the Bulls taking a narrow lead of just one basket.

Takins fought back after Bulls took a decisive lead of six baskets midway in the second quarter. With three more minutes to go, Takins brought the deficit to just one basket. The quarter ended in favour of the Bulls with a lead of four points.

The Takins gave away several crucial opportunities to get back in the game. Bulls on the other hand, capitalised on every opportunity missed by the Takins and pulled down the maximum rebounds, both offensive and defensive to win their third game of the tournament.

In the first game yesterday, team Shopper Stores defeated Achos 54-48. The game was played at a much slower pace compared to most of the other basketball matches.

With the defeat, Achos who won the opening game of the veteran tournament last year suffered their third consecutive loss this year. Tshering Gyeltshen a member of team Achos said that it is difficult to compete against some of the teams as most of the participants are regular players and are much younger than his teammates.

“Many young players have now become veteran (35 year and above). It is difficult to match up to their stamina as the match continues,” said the 43-year-old.

However, Tshering Gyeltshen is optimistic that his team will register a minimum of two victories in the 10-day tournament. “It is the interest for the game that motivates us to take part every year even if the results are not so promising,” he said. “The tournament is a good opportunity to get-together with your old classmates and friends. Also it provides good exercise to senior players like us.”

In the third game, team JDWNRH suffered their fourth consecutive loss against Druk Chus, 82-46.

A total of seven teams are taking part in the competition organised by the Bhutan Basketball Federation and SD Events. Tournament organisers said that because of the on-going veterans football tournament in Thimphu, the competition saw less participation this year.

Eleven teams took part last year.

Next year, the organisers are planning to increase the age limit to 40 years and above or divide A-league players equally among all the participating teams to provide a level playing field.

Younten Tshedup