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Senior national basketball team soars to finals for the first time with dramatic win

Bhutan’s senior men’s national basketball team is all pumped up to face Bangladesh in the finals of the Five Nation Championship tomorrow on the back of a dramatic semi-final win against Nepal last night. In an evenly contested match, Bhutan broke Nepali hearts in the dying seconds of the game when Sonam Tshering Jattu hit a 3-point buzzer-beater to seal the victory. This is the very first time Bhutan’s national basketball team reached a final of an international tournament according to Bhutan Basketball Federation. 

Bhutan and Nepal went neck and neck throughout the game in what was a highly entertaining match between the Himalayan neighbours. Nepal was at the forefront for almost the entire match with Bhutan having to chase the game.

With less than half a minute remaining in the last quarter, Nepal on 60 points was running away with a two-point lead. That’s when the unthinkable happened. Bhutan lunged forward in a last-gasp attempt to draw level with Nepal when the ball fell kindly for Sonam Tshering Jattu who smashed a three-pointer right at the death of the game.

“Thank you to everyone who is supporting us in this incredible journey. It is history in the making for Bhutan and we had a tough match against Nepal and we are excited to play the final against Bangladesh. I am just grateful that the shot went in, in the last buzzer,” said Sonam Tshering Jattu.

“After yesterday’s win against Nepal, we are all set to play against Bangladesh tomorrow. We are practising in the same manner as we have practised in Thimphu. Right now also we have just finished practising. Tomorrow as well, we will play with determination and we believe that we will win the trophy. In addition, we are expecting the same support from our people back home,” said Rinchen Dorji, the captain.

Tomorrow’s opponent Bangladesh is ranked one place ahead of Bhutan at 143 in the International Basketball Federation men’s ranking. Bhutan lost to Bangladesh by 8 points last week in the league round. Tomorrow’s match will be played at 9:30 PM local time.

Ugyen Dorji

Edited by Kipchu