Basketball: Wizards defeated Jachungs 95-81 in the first game of the finals of the Pepsi A League Basketball tournament at the Swimming Pool Complex in Thimphu yesterday.

The game began with the defending champions, Jachungs, taking control of the first quarter of the game with their quick reflexes and strong defence. Wizards, on the other hand, made a few costly miss passes.

However, the crowd favourite, Wizards, got back and ended the first quarter with just a single point behind Jachung.

The pressure was evident on the defending champions as their star player, Rinzi Wangchuk, missed six crucial foul shots. Jachung was only three baskets away from taking the lead in the third quarter of the game.

Jachungs displayed strong physical prowess. However, they could not break Wizards’ defence line and lost to Wizards by seven baskets.

Jamyang Namgyal and Rinchen Dorji of Wizards both scored 29 points each, the highest in the game. Rinchen Dorji also grabbed 10 rebounds in the game.

The busiest player on the court yesterday, Rinzi Wangchuk, made 27 points and pulled down seven rebounds.

With a record of 15 wins and just three losses, Wizards and Jachungs both entered the playoffs with 33 points each. However, on goal difference, Wizards grabbed the first place on the league table.

Wizards defeated Phojas in two straight games at the semifinals of the tournament. Jachungs defeated Pazaps in two straight games to make it to the finals.

The second game of the finals will be played tomorrow at the Swimming Pool Complex.

If Wizards win the second game, they will become the champions of the Pepsi A League. However, if Jachungs manage to win the game tomorrow, the two teams will play a third and deciding game on Sunday.

Younten Tshedup