Zhoems celebrated their third consecutive win defeating Pazaps 92-71 in the ongoing BoB A-League 2021 basketball tournament at the Swimming Pool Complex in Thimphu yesterday. 

This is the fifth season of the tournament organised by the Basketball Federation of Bhutan (BFB) that began on June 6.  

The teams began the game on a high note, maintaining almost equal points. However, 30 minutes into the game, the much-younger team, Zhoems started building pressure on the opponents and the difference grew wider by over seven baskets.  

Zhoems’ Tashi Tendhar, said that he was happy with the win. “We decided to give our best as Pazaps is one of the strong teams in the tournament.” He added that most of the players on his team were young. “We plan to keep playing well in the upcoming matches.” 

Pazaps on the other hand were mostly soldiers and civil servants. Skipper Tshering Dorji said the loss would not discourage them from working hard. “Zhoems are very strong, but we tried hard. We aim to win the tournament.”

Since its inception in 2004, Pazaps has been participating in major basketball tournaments in the country. They recently signed Chimi Dorji from Paro for the ongoing season. “Our players are mostly above 30 years old, but we work hard to inspire our youth to take part in basketball,” said Tshering Dorji. 

Unlike in the past seasons, there is no entry fee required this time. Bank of Bhutan is the main sponsor of the tournament. A three-year contract was signed between the federation and the bank.

BFB’s Coach Lhendup said that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the federation couldn’t conduct tournaments for more than a year. “This tournament would engage and revive the hope for basketball enthusiasts.”

The tournament is conducted behind closed doors with strict Covid-19 safety protocols. 

By Thinley Namgay 

Edited by Tshering Palden