Basketball: The B League Basketball tournament that began yesterday at the Swimming Pool Complex in Thimphu saw seven women’s teams participate, the highest so far.

One of the participants, Sonam Dema, said that the recent win by the national women’s team encouraged many basketball enthusiasts to participate in local tournaments. “There are many who are interested in the game. We needed the extra boost that we got from the national team.”

This is the first ever B League tournament for women clubs in the country.

“The league is for both men and women. However, because of limited women clubs, we could not include them in our previous tournaments,” said Lhendup, a referee. “We needed at least five clubs to register for the tournament. This year, we have seven teams, and the number is very encouraging.”

One of the spectators, Sangay Tshomo Dorji, said that the level of women’s basketball has improved in recent years. She added that women’s matches are as interesting as that of men’s. “Before we used to know who would win the game looking at their performance in the first few quarters but today, it has become difficult to predict the results before the game ends.”

In the first game yesterday, Aspiring Ashims  defeated Mystics 65-37. In the men’s game, Ruthless humbled Druk Patriots 68-54.

A total of 28 teams are participating in the month-long tournament organised by the Bhutan Basketball Federation.

Younten Tshedup