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Bhutan could lift first international trophy today

… will play against Bangladesh in the final of Five Nation Championship 

Thinley Namgay

Bhutan’s basketball team is confident about lifting the Five Nation Championship trophy  in the Maldives today.

This is the first time in history that Bhutan is playing a basketball final on the international stage.

Of the three finals Bhutan has reached so far in international competitions, one was during the 2019 South Asian Games, where the football team played against host Nepal.

The Dragon Warriors booked their place in the final after an epic 61-60 win against Nepal in the semifinal on June 20. The nation rejoiced in Sonam Tshering Jattu’s three-point buzzer shot, which delivered much-needed relief and secured a victory for the team.

Bhutan is the only team to have defeated Nepal in this tournament.

Bhutanese from all walks of life expressed their love for the team on social media platforms, praising their exemplary performance and sportsmanship. The video of Sonam Tshering Jattu’s three-point buzzer-beater became sensational on social media.

Jattu works at the Druk Gyalpo’s Institute in Pangbisa, Paro. Jattu’s friends said that he is a hardworking and talented player who has been playing basketball since a young age.

Sonam Tshering Jattu said, “I would like to thank everyone back home for supporting us and showing so much love. I’m honored to represent my country, and I’m grateful to be playing alongside such an incredible group of players.”

“We are confident about winning the tournament, and we hope to bring the gold medal back home,” Sonam Tshering Jattu said.

Bhutan’s captain, Rinchen Dorji, attributes the team’s success so far in this tournament to its team spirit, positive attitude, and hardworking players and coaches.

The Dragon Warriors trained for two months in preparation for the tournament. The captain said that the players in the team are hardworking and have made many sacrifices, which are now paying off.

According to Rinchen Dorji, Bhutan’s focus in the final will largely be on defense, as usual. “Bangladesh is a very good team. We will make some adjustments for the game, which our coaches have been studying.”

Expressing his hope of bringing home the gold, he said the team is always hopeful for a win and is thrilled to compete against Bangladesh today. “It should be a very interesting final.”

He added that the team is grateful to everyone for their support, which has motivated all players and coaching staff.

“We wish for the same support in the final. We hope to make everyone proud back home by winning the tournament,” Rinchen Dorji said.

Bhutan won against host Maldives 60-50, 61-60, and 61-55 against Nepal but lost to Pakistan 75-53 and Bangladesh 61-53 in highly-contested games.

Bhutanese fans believe that Bhutan will win the final if the team maintains the same spirit in terms of confidence, precise passing, defense, and rebound tactics.

Fans were impressed by the team’s performance despite the limited number of fans in the Maldives. Meanwhile, most players have day jobs.