Thinley Namgay   

After three losses in the league, the national women’s basketball team exited from the 2022 SABA Women’s Championship underway in the Maldives.

The tournament is the first major regional tournament for the team in more than three years. The last tournament the girls played was the South Asian Games in Kathmandu, Nepal in 2019.

Despite their efforts, they lost against host Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

On September 29, the Maldives defeated Bhutan 86-34. The half-time score was 39-17 for the host. However, Bhutan could add only 17 points in the next half.

They lost against Nepal and Sri Lanka 65-26 and 99-33, respectively.

Basketball enthusiasts say that Bhutan’s game plan was good but most players lacked stamina and fitness.

Assistant coach Lhuendup D. Dorjey said that Sri Lanka and Nepal were competent teams in this second edition tournament.

He said that Bhutanese players were young with fewer international games experience.

Lhuendup D. Dorjey said most of the players are playing international games for the first time. “We trained for almost three months.”

Of the 12 players in the Maldives, three are students and others are mostly fresh graduates and a few office-goers.

Sri Lanka won the first edition tournament in 2016 with Nepal as the first runners-up.

The defending champions, Sri Lanka retained the title after defeating the Maldives 72-59 on September 28. Nepal stood second again.