Wizards win the 2016 Pepsi A-League Championship

Basketball: The Wizards defeated the defending Champion Jachungs 86-69 in the finals of the Pepsi A-League held at the Swimming Pool Complex in Thimphu yesterday.

The Wizards won the first game of the final series while the second game was won by the Jachungs.

In the second game of the finals, it looked like the Wizards would sweep the series by taking game two of the best of three series.

Coming from behind, the Wizards took the lead in the last quarter of the game. But in the last minute of the fourth quarter, a three pointer pulled the Jachungs within two points. Another jumper equalised the score with only a few seconds to spare.

The Jachungs opened overtime with consecutive baskets and the Wizards never threatened resulting in a game three.

In the third and final game of the seriess, the Wizards won comfortably by taking a large lead and maintaining it throughout.

The defending champions attempted a strong comeback in the third quarter of the game but to no avail.

Drukdra Penjor of the Wizards was the highest scorer of the game with 23 points followed by Rinchen Dorji, who almost had a double-double with 19 points and nine rebounds.

For the Jachungs, Kuenzang Namgyal scored 22 points while Rinzi Wangchuk had 21 points and seven rebounds. Tashi Tendher of the Jachungs grabbed a total of 13 rebounds

Rinchen Dorji from the Wizards was declared the best basketball player of this year’s tournament.

The Wizards received a cash prize of Nu 50,000. The runners up received Nu 40,000.

Around ten teams participated in the 2016 Pepsi A-League. The two bottom teams, the Takins and Crossovers were relegated to the B-division.

The league was organised by the Bhutan Basketball Federation (BBF) and was sponsored by Pepsi.

BBF general secretary Kuenga Gyaltshen said the tournament would not have been possible without Pepsi’s support and for that the federation was thankful. He said the federation was also grateful to the Bhutan Broadcasting Service for televising games live and helping to build the popularity of the sport.

Tshering Dorji, intern

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