Hosts, Goldengate College got off to a winning start at the first edition of the Goldengate Veterans Basketball Tournament (GVBT) today.
The four day veteran’s basketball tournament, aimed at bringing past Nepali basketball players back on court and at the same time promoting basketball in Nepal, drew in fairly good crowd in the inaugural day. Some of the audiences included senior men’s basketball players such as Sanjay Byanjankar Sr. and the die-hard fans. Also in the crowd was Nepal Women’s Basketball National team head coach, Bikash Shahi.
In the opening match of the day, the hosts defeated Arna Warriors in a close contest while Liverpool College overcame tough challenge from the Naya Bazaar Club in the second match.
Goldengate vs Arna Warriors
It was a rather slow start to the match but soon picked up pace and in the end proved better than expected. Unlike the similar event few months back, this time round players looked much fitter.
Hosts were 3 points behind at half-time but with players like Karma Gurung, Bipendra Maharjan (who are still fit enough to compete in the regular men’s basketball) and Santa Maharjan in their line-up they were still the favorites to take the win. And they proved their worth….all three getting in the double digit scoreline.
Hosts turned the tide in the third quarter and pressed on to take the win by a margin of 8 points.
Final score: Goldengate 51-43 Arna Warriors (05-06, 17-19, 15-09, 13-09)
Highest scorer: Karma Gurung – 18 points.
Second match between Liverpool and Naya Bazaar saw a lot of the players who played for BMK including Ajay Manandhar at the Kirtipur Veteran’s Cup take on Naya Bazaar Club featuring the likes of Rabindra Maharjan (Maskey).
Naya Bazaar were excellent on the outside shots but the Liverpool College veterans had the upper hand when it came to height. But the contest couldn’t have been closer. The two sides exchanged lead several time before Liverpool stamped their authority in the third quarter. Naya Bazaar fought back in the final quarter but it wasn’t enough to turn things around.
Final score: Naya Bazaar 52-55 Liverpool (09-12, 16-10, 13-23, 14-10).
Highest scorer: Ajay Manandhar -18 points.
The tournament will be played in a league plus knockout format. But since there are only four teams competing, the top two in the league phase will play the final, while the bottom two will play for the third and fourth spot.
The tournament hold cash prizes of Rs 50,000; Rs 25,000 and Rs 10,000 for the top three teams. While the MVP will be awarded a round trip ticket to Hong Kong which is sponsored by Cathay Dragon.