Basketball: Debutant team Ruthless lived up to their name when they overran the experienced verteran team of Pazaps 67-57 in the final game of the league round of the on-going Queens Cup basketball tournament, yesterday.

Pazaps, who were leading the first quarter 10-4, struggled to keep their lead in the following quarters when their key player Galden sprained his ankle in the last minute of the first quarter and had to leave the match.

With the absence of their MVP, Pazaps trailed by three baskets at the end of the second quarter. Comprising of only students, team Ruthless capitalized on the opportunity.

While in other games, an easy win for team RBA against Puenchas 68-41, took the departmental champions into the quarterfinals of the tournament. Team Karma defeated Dragons 47-40 while Crack Jacks humbled Blue Magics 64-34.

A total of 18 men’s teams took part in this year’s tournament that began on December 7 at the Swimming Pool Complex in Thimphu. The tournament this year saw only two women’s team register.

The organizer of the tournament, Karma Phuntsho of Clover Events and Entertainment said that women’s participation in such basketball tournaments are decreasing every year. “Although we have good women players in the country they somehow fail to turn up for such tournaments,” he said. “Many of the players study abroad and fail to gather during open tournaments.”

Last year three women teams took part in the tournament. However, with only two teams this year, Karma Phuntsho said they couldn’t take part in the competition. The two teams will be playing an exhibition match during the finals on Monday.

The Queen’s Cup was first organized in 2011 coinciding with the Royal Wedding celebrations. Karma Phuntsho said that the tournament was also organized to promote basketball in the country.

The tournament this year also saw maximum participation from young teams comprising of school and college going students.

Younten Tshedup