Basketball: In a very physical match, the Royal Bhutan Army (RBA) defeated Bhutan Insurance Limited (BIL) 101-82 to claim their second departmental championship title at the Swimming Pool complex, yesterday.

While in the women’s category Drukair defeated the Bank of Bhutan Limited (BOBL) 41-26 to claim their first title.

The men’s finals began with BIL playing a fast game and looking like the better team. Seven minutes into the first quarter, BIL was ten points ahead.

But by the end of the quarter, RBA, undefeated throughout the tournament, was not only back in the game but had also claimed an eight point lead.

RBA’s Tenzin said that the opponent looked tired after the first quarter and that’s the opening they needed to take control of the game with their stamina and speed.

“They could never compete with our stamina,” he said. “We were expecting to win this tournament, though we started unsteadily in the beginning, the result was inevitable.”

BIL attempted a desperate comeback in the dying minutes of the game when they reduced the deficit to only 10 points but it was the closest they would get. With their superior stamina, the soldiers managed to keep a comfortable lead all the way to the final whistle.

In the women’s category, the first quarter ended almost scoreless, with both teams stepping up their defensive pressure. BoB’s Tshering Chodens broke the long deadlock with a layup in the last two minutes of the quarter to open the score sheet for the team.

BoB ended the first quarter with a narrow lead of just two points, the score being 4-2. However, the game changed when Drukair’s Tshering Pem entered the action and scored 10 points in the second quarter. She scored 20 points for the game.

Playing with a dislocated index and small finger, Tshering Pem who was later declared the most valuable player (MVP) of the tournament, turned the game in favour of her team the moment she got onto the scene.

“It was possible all because of my teammates believe in me,” said Tshering. “With all the odds, we were expecting to win today because we have been travelling from Paro to Thimphu almost regularly. We’ve been rewarded with the win today.”

Drukair bagged the winning trophy in the women’s category along with a cash prize of Nu 15,000 while BoB took home Nu 10,000 and a trophy. The winners in the men’s division were awarded a cash prize of Nu 20,000 along with trophies and medals. BIL took home Nu 15,000.

Younten Tshedup