Services down Railways in basketball nationals

Mysuru, Jan 12 (IANS) Former champions Punjab registered their second win on the trot by defeating Delhi 99-89 in a high voltage men’s level one clash at the 66th Senior National Basketball Championship being held at the Chamundi Vihar Stadium here on Tuesday.

Punjab were brimming with confidence after their win over defending champions Uttarakhand on Monday. Talwinderjit Singh Sahi led the way for Punjab with 24 points while Ranbir Singh Virdi (17) and Gagandeep Singh (16) also did well. Delhi players Parveen Dovan and Gopal Ram were in fiery form with 27 points each, but it was not enough to see their team through.

The game was closer than expected with Delhi putting up a good fight led by their centre Gopal Ram and guard Parveen Dovan.

For Punjab, Sahi continued his fine form in his comeback tournament leading the way on offense for his side. In a back-and-forth game, Delhi held the lead entering the fourth quarter, but Punjab pulled away with aggressive play in the final five minutes. Sahi and Ranbir Singh knocked down shots late in the game to seal the deal for Punjab.

Uttarakhand meanwhile, kept their title defence on track with an 83-55 win over Haryana. Veteran centre Murali Krishna (24), Trideep Rai 18 and national team captain Vishesh Bhriguvanshi (11) were the main scorers for the defending champions. N. Narendran (16) was the highest scorer for Haryana.

Led by their captain Bhriguvanshi, Uttarakhand put up a spectacular show with some highlight plays including alley-oops and fancy passing.

In another level one game, Railways had an easy 94-53 win over Telengana. Somvier (21), Raj Kalbhor (15) and Ajay Pratap Singh (14) spearheaded Railways’ charge. For Telangana, Harish N. (13), David Boon (12) and Ambati Prudhvi Reddy (12) were the standout performers.

In the women’s section, Telangana upset defending champions Chhattisgarh 79-72 in a level one contest. The Telangana women’s side have been the surprise of the tournament so far with strong performances in all their matches.

Telangana executed their strategies to perfection against Chhattisgarh, sticking to their fast-paced style of play. Despite last year’s most valuable player Poonam Chaturvedi putting up huge numbers with 46 points and 19 rebounds, Chhattisgarh’s other players had a poor shooting day.

Telangana played tight defense forcing 20 turnovers from the Chhattisgarh side, while limiting their own turnovers to just seven. For Telangana, Anusha Anto put up a double-double score with 19 points and 14 rebounds, including nine offensive rebounds. Divya P. also had a big game for Telangana with 23 points.

All the Telangana players crashed the boards to pull down 23 offensive rebounds leading to 23 second-chance points.

Indo-Asian News Service

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