Girls basketball team registers historic win

KATHMANDU: The Nepali girls' basketball team registered a historic win in the 3-on-3 tournament at the first Youth Asian Games in Singapore on Friday.

In their first appearance at the international level, the Nepali team of Nora Gurung, Samikshhin Bista, Shiva Karmacharya and Rajaswi Shah defeated Kuwait 32-27 in the last preliminary round match.

The team, which was impressive against South Korea on Wednesday and faltered against Japan on Thursday, lived up to its potential and won the first-ever international match. Samikshhin was the top scorer with 11 points, while Shiva netted nine, skipper Nora got eight and Rajaswi netted five the Nepali team.

Kuwait put Nepal under pressure in the beginning of the match but the Nepali girls raised their game and took a 10-4 lead in the first quarter. Kuwait reduced the deficit scoring 10 points, two more than Nepal, in the second quarter, while the Nepali players outplayed Kuwait in the last quarter 14-13 to register the historic win.

"We needed at least one win and we got that today," said the players in one voice. "The win has added confidence in us for future events," they said.

President of Nepal Basketball Association Lama Tendi Sherpa reiterated the voice of the players. "The historic win on the foreign soil will help us a lot in the development of women's basketball," he said.

Earlier, the boys' team lost to Qatar 27-23 in the last match. Siddhartha Maharjan top scored for the Nepali team with 11 points. Widit Ratna Tamrakar scored nine, while skipper Norbu Lama and Sagar Thapa netted two points each.

In athletics, Man Sajan Sunuwar was disqualified in triple jump event after he failed in both the attempts.

On Saturday, Nepal will participate in swimming and table tennis. The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games participant Karishma Karki will try her luck in the 50-metre freestyle. In table tennis, Sonu Gupta, Pradip Rokka, Elina Maharjan and Rojina Desar will play their singles events. Except for Sonu, who will play against a Sri Lankan player, others have first-round bye.