#4: 65th Senior National Basketball :Kerala and Tamil back on top

Bhilwara, Rajasthan: After losing their opening encounter against the star studded Uttarakhand (ONGC) side yesterday, Tamil Nadu men bounced back with a statement 92-62 win over Indian Railways. The Tamil Nadu outfit saw multiple players in double digits in this balanced attack that netted them nearly 100 points. International guard Prakash Mishra found himself to be the lone warrior for the Railways, but his 19 points couldn’t prevent the 30 point drubbing at the hands of the defending men’s champions.

Finally playing to their potential, Kerala women surprised defending champions Chhattisgarh winning a tense game 68-65. The Kerala women’s starting five featured four international players Stephy Nixon (centre), Poojamol KS (forward), Jeena PS (forward) and Neenumol (small forward). Kerala’s excellent defense in the first half restricted Chhattisgarh to just 10 points in the second quarter, and combined with their steady scoring had them leading by nearly 20 points going into second half. 6ft 10 inch Chhattisgarh centre Poonam Chaturvedi was mostly ineffective thanks to the terrific man marking and boxing out by rival centre, Stephy Nixon.

But true to its style, the never-say-die Chhattisgarh outfit fought back in the second half, thanks mostly to the outside shooting of Sharanjeet that including a three pointer with less than a minute remaining that tied the game at 65-65. Luckily for Kerala, teen sensation Poojamol drove the baseline and converted the two pointer despite getting fouled to take Kerala back in the clear by two points. Poojamol would calmly convert from the foulline to carry her side to its second straight victory.

Hosts Rajasthan teams fell to their second straight defeats. While the women lost to Odisha in the lower Level match, the men suffered a moral sapping loss to a young and resurgent Karnataka outfit. Rajasthan men were neck and neck for most of the match until the final few minutes, where Karnataka ran away to a 14 point win. This year’s Karnataka team bears a markedly younger and more athletic look having opted for youth over experience. The strategy seems to be working fine for Karnataka as they raced away to this back to back win. Karnakata centre Arvind in particular has been the star performer with numerous in game dunks that underlines his position as one of the most athletic basketballers in the nation. In this match he had 29 points to go with his 14 rebounds.

Afternoon & Early Evening Results from 30-12-2014

Level 1

Men

1)      Tamil Nadu (A Arvind 24, Amjyot Singh 16, Pratham Singh 13) bt Indian Railways (Prakash Mishra 19, Hirender Singh 12) 92-62 [32-20, 24-13, 20-15, 16-14]

2)      Karnataka (Arvind A 29 pts and 14 rbs, MR Bhat 17) bt Rajasthan (Vinod M 35, Harshvardhan 16, Anil Kumar 13, Niraj K 11) 84-70 [24-20, 21-20, 14-16, 25-14]

Women

1)      Kerala (Stephy Nixon 19, Poojamol 17, Jeena PS 15) bt Chhattisgarh (Aakanksha 18, Poonam Chaturvedi 17, Sharanjeet 15) 68-65 [20-14, 22-10, 15-16, 11-25]

Level 2

Women

1)      Odisha (Jayashree 16, Namrata 14, Roli 13, Urbasi 10) bt Rajasthan (Anita Meena 14, Nisa Sharma 27) 62-58 [22-9, 12-15, 11-14, 17-20]

2)      Telangana (M Gayathri 17, Purnima M 14, Aishwarya 13) bt Assam (Annat George 15, Shilpi Gehlot 8, Anju Sidharthan 8) 59-40 [16-8, 22-8, 8-10, 13-14]

3)      Bihar (Priyanka 16, GS Sharwani 14) bt Uttarakhand (Siwani 12) 55-33 [11-11, 21-7, 6-7, 17-8]

4)      West Bengal (S Devi 16, P Kumari 9) bt Gujarat (Fatema Masvi 8) 50-20 [35-2, 6-6, 5-5, 6-7]

Men

1)      Jammu & Kashmir (Shubham Sharma 19, Iqbal Singh 17) bt Goa (Anjul Punia 7, Brendon Mascarenhas) 63-23 [25-7, 17-2, 6-8, 15-6]

2)      Maharashtra (Amit Gholot 25, R Kalbhor 23) bt Assam ( P Kumar 23, Pankaj Rathee 12) 79-59 [22-18, 18-13, 14-19, 25-9]

3)      Madhya Pradesh (HS Tomar 17, A Banigiri 16, Syed A Ali 10) bt Odisha (Sashi 11, Ashok 10) 66-59 [16-15, 9-17, 22-7, 19-20]

4)      Bihar (Manvendra 15, Yogesh Kumar 14) bt Puducherry (Prabhakar 30, Harikrishna 8) 46-41 [3-12, 9-9, 14-10, 20-10]

About the 65th Senior National Basketball Championship 2014

The 65th Senior National Basketball Championship 2014 is being held in Bhilwara, Rajasthan. The Championship is being organised by the Bhilwara District Basketball Association in collaboration with the Rajasthan State Basketball Association under the aegis of Basketball Federation of India and IMG-Reliance. Matches are being held at the Sukhodia Indoor Stadium and the two outdoor courts at the Nagar Parishad complex. 27 men’s teams and 24 women’s teams are participating in this event that will be played in a league-cum-knockout format. For this year’s edition, Tamil Nadu men and Chhattisgarh women are the defending champions.

The teams have been divided into two levels: the upper Level 1 and lower level 2. Level 1 teams have further been split into two groups (A and B) while Level 2 teams have been split into four groups. The top four teams from each Level 1 group and the top team from each of the four Level 2 groups will qualify for the knockout stages. A separate knockout tournament (called “Losers Knockouts”) will also be held for the 2nd and 3rd placed teams from each of the four lower level groups that will be knocked out of the main tournament.

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