Basketball tourney gets underway amid vacant stands

Artistes

Although the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) tried to pull in crowds by organising demos of the game on busy Ludhiana roads on Thursday, the effort fell flat as the players were welcomed by the organisers, team managers and a few guests of the BFI and Punjab Basketball Association (PBA) on Friday. The stadium otherwise was lying vacant with hardly any spectator to watch the ceremony.

Apart from a marchpast by the players of 46 teams across the country, a spectacular 'soldiers' parade' was held by 40 girls of Police Academy Phillaur (PAP). The girls were dressed in Tricolour dresses and they also displayed the air gun shots.

Besides, a gatka show, giddha, bhangra and a few other performances were held.

On the limited number of viewers, Teja Singh Dhaliwal, general secretary of PBA, said, "Our aim was to make people aware, but if they did not come, it hardly matters. We need genuine sports lovers. During the matches, genuine basketball lovers will come to watch for sure."

On Thursday, the players of men's and women's basketball teams were seen giving demos in various parts of the city amid cheers and claps.

Balloons entangled

In the opening ceremony, balloons were released in the sky. However, they got entangled in the ceiling of VIP block because of strong wind pressure towards that side.

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