Pakistan Basketball team reaches Maldives for five-nation championship


By our correspondent / DNA

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Basketball team reaches Maldives on Wednesday in order to participate in the five-nation international basketball championship to be starting from June 15th in Male.

Pakistan along with host Maldives, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal will fight for the championship title in a single league round where top four teams will qualify for semifinals of the championship.

The Pakistan team also met with Director General Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Shoaib Khoso before departure to Maldives. In this meeting, the President of Pakistan Basketball Federation (PBBF) Brig. (R) Muhammad Iftikhar Mansoor informed him about the preparations of the national team for the five-nation Championship.  

DG PSB Shoaib Khoso is hopeful that the talented Pakistan Basketball Team will perform brilliantly in the five-nation basketball championship. He said that Pakistan Sports Board will provide maximum support to active sports federations.

He also said that it would be a wonderful opportunity for young players to represent the country to display their sports potential in their respective game as the Pakistan Sports Board is working hard for the promotion of sports across the country. DG PSB Shoaib Khoso also assured PBBF officials that PSB will provide maximum support for future training camps for any upcoming national and international events.

The President of the Pakistan Basketball Federation (PBBF) Brig. (R) Muhammad Iftikhar Mansoor and PBBF Associate Secretary Ouj E Zahoor thanked the Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) Ehsan Ur Rehman Mazari and Director General Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Shoaib Khoso for their support and assistance, which enable PBBF to train the national basketball team in the camp for more than a month. This championship will be helpful for the Pakistan team to get international exposure after a long period of seven years.

Under the supervision of the coaching staff, young players did extensive training at Pakistan Sports Complex Islamabad ahead of the event. The team staff includes Former International Malik Muhammad Riaz, who will be the head coach along with Umer Mehmood coach and Ahmed Ali Tipu will be the team manager. Besides the team, for the first time in decades a Pakistani Basketball Referee Syed Adnan Ali, from Karachi, who is also a FIBA certified referee will also officiate in the five-nation international basketball championship.

PBBF said that the five nation international championship will be a door opener for talented basketball players to represent Pakistan, the purpose of participating in the event is to provide opportunities to the players so that they can get experience as PBBF set the target of the Pakistan basketball team to win the medal in upcoming South Asian Games to be held next year.

According to details, Pakistan will play their first match against Nepal on June 15 while green shirts will be in action against host Maldives on June 16. Pakistan will play their third league match against Bhutan on June 17 and will play his last match against Bangladesh on June 18. The semifinals will be played on June 20 while the final of the championship will be held on June 22.

It is also mentioned that after getting the official affiliation with Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) few months ago, the top management of Pakistan Basketball Federation headed by Brig. (R) Muhammad Iftikhar Mansoor and Secretary General Khalid Bashir took many steps to organize national events as well as to send Pakistan teams to international level.

Pakistan squad: Muhammad Shahbaz Ali (captain), Abdul Wahab, Muhammad Umair Jan, Zain ul Hassan Khan, Muhammad Shahid, Imad Ahmed, Zia Ur Rehman, Saqib Ullah Mahsood, Mahtab Akram and Sheraz Aslam.

Officials: Malik Muhammad Riaz (head coach), Umer Mehmood (coach), Ahmed Ali Tipu(manager)