Sports

SABA Women’s C’ship: Nepali hoopsters eye elusive title

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Mar 26, 2016-In absence of giants India and Pakistan, Nepal will firmly set their eyes on a rare gold when they take on Bangladesh in their inaugural match of the first South Asian Women’s Basketball Championship set for March 29 to April 2.

Nepal are hosting the first ever women’s regional basketball tournament to make up for the sport’s no-show in the recently concluded 12th South Asian Games held in Assam and Guawahati from February 5-16. New Delhi is hosting the fifth edition of the men’s tournament later this year.

While India and Pakistan are not participating in the tournament, Afghanistan have already left the South Asia in regional sports. And in presence of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Maldives, the tournament gives a realistic chance for Nepal to have a shot at a maiden gold in women’s basketball history.

Both the men’s and women’s team from Nepal had headed into the SA Games following a one-month preparation in Thailand. But to everyone’s disappointment the basketball events in the Games were cancelled due to the internal problems in the Basketball Federation of India.

The Nepali camp is now taking the tournament at their backyard a big boost to the game. “We were very disappointed when after we didn’t get an opportunity to compete in the Games. But with the tournament approaching at our home court, we are pretty excited,” said coach Bikash Shahi on Friday.  “We had lengthy training in Thailand and then in India. Hopefully we can give our best and keep the title at home,” added the coach, who is also a former national basketball player. Skipper Sadina Shrestha said her side’s target is not less than the title.

“There is no India and Pakistan. Since we have previously played against other teams, we know that Sri Lanka is the only opponent to watch out for. If we come up with our best then we can win our maiden title,” said Shrestha.

All the matches of the round-robin league tournament will be held at the National Sports Council covered hall. Meanwhile, the Nepal Basketball Association on Friday also said that is has tied up with leading telecommunication giants Nepal Telecom for the tournament.

NeBA President Lama Tendi Sherpa said he was overwhelmed by the support given from the Nepal government and private sectors.

Published: 26-03-2016 09:49

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