Pakistan clinch silver in SABA championship
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan claimed silver medal in the second South Asian Basketball Association (SABA) Championship which concluded in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Monday night.
A press release issued by the national basketball federation said that hosts Bangladesh finished as the only unbeaten team in the tournament bagging the gold medal with Pakistan winning three of their four matches to take second position.
The Pakistan team will return home on Thursday.
The championship featuring South Asian teams was played on round robin basis in Dhaka’s Dhanmondi Basketball Gymnasium with the exception of India, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.
Pakistan coached by Imran Bashir had absolutely no difficulty in disposing of challenges of the Maldives, Nepal and Bhutan. However, they lost to hosts in a close fight.
Pakistan kicked off their campaign in an impressive fashion, brushing aside the Maldives 88-62 with green shirts dominating throughout the match.
Haris Kamal (22), Ahmad Jan (18), Mohammad Akram (17) and captain Prem Shahzad (15) played major roles in their victory.
Pakistan team were equally good in the second match against Nepal which they won 78-67 with Taghlab Ammar (23), Mohammad Akram (13) and Prem Shahzad (12) leading their team to victory.
Bangladesh defeated Pakistan in the next match 77-68. Pakistan outscored the hosts 20-17 and 24-19 in the first and third quarters and were just two points behind going into the final 10 minutes of the game, but the home team stretched the slim lead to a nine-point advantage by the end of the match.
Pakistan overpowered Bhutan 79-63 in their last match. Khalid Ahmed (17), Prem Shahzad (15) and Taghlab Ammar (12) were main scorers for the winning side.
SABA organised second edition of the event after the maiden tournament was held in the Indian state of Assam in 2002.
The Pakistan basketball team last took part in the 2010 South Asian Games, also held in Dhaka.