3467Basketball comes alive
- Oct 12, 2013Basketball comes alive
Marcus Mergulhao, TNN
PANAJI: Good news comes in torrent. It may not be true with everyone
but the Goa Basketball Association (GBA) will certainly not disagree.
For a sport, and association, that has long been a punching bag in
good times and bad, there seems to be a sudden change in its fortunes.
The change in guard at the helm of affairs was the new beginning but
the recently-concluded State Basketball Championship at Don Bosco in
the city was the one that provided for plenty of hope.
"To be honest, I was floored not just with the response for the
tournament but the manner in which it shaped up. Everything simply
fell in place," said a delighted GBA president Fr Ralin de Souza.
A record 29 teams entered their names for the championship out of
which 27 turned up. One team in each category -- Dribblers (men) and
Margao Basketeers ( women) -- opted out, and just as the GBA had hoped
for, most of the Lusofonia Games probables including stalwarts like
Daley Fernandes, Aakash Madgavkar, Amish Jain, Ashish Bhupal, Shiva
and Lambert Godinho defied a rival Association of Goan Basketball
diktat to make their presence felt.
And what a tournament it was.
"The crowd for the final was fantastic. You could see a healthy
rivalry (between Margao and Panaji) and there were fans who wanted
more of such events," said Fr Ralin, who since taking over the GBA a
little over two months ago has had to duck several bouncers.
More is certainly on the way. Ponda has made inquiries about staging a
similar tournament, Don Bosco Oratory (DBO) has lined-up a
Inter-College tournament for next month, and then Margao and Siolim
will take turns to organize an All Goa tournament in December and
That's not all.
The Basketball Federation of India (BFI) has thrown its weight behind
the GBA and allotted them a cheque of Rs 37,000, the first instalment
for development of basketball in the state.
Need to hear more? Listen to Fr Ralin himself, saying, "We had written
to Mahindra Group (who have a tie up with the NBA) and they have had a
word with us. I will be going to Mumbai for a meeting."
Now, if only, the GBA could convince the Sports Authority of Goa (SAG)
and Goa Olympic Association (GOA) that they have the interest of the
sport at heart and nothing else, the ghost of the past could be well
and truly buried.