In the first match today, Group A's bottom two teams took on each other in search of their first win. Having been knocked out of contention of the main competition, these teams were playing for pride. Hosts Basketball Club of Haryana especially were hoping to post a win on their homecourt. In the first quarter, BCH led 26-24 before the momentum started shifting Punjab's way. A young side, Punjab passed the ball beautifully to get multiple people on the scoreboard. After matching Haryana in the second quarter, by the end of the third quarter Punjab was leading 60-54.
Now under pressure, BCH's trio of Yudhvir, Bhupender and Vipin stepped up in the final 10 minutes. The well-built Bhupender was especially aggressive and for BCH within 3 points of Punjab halfway through the fourth quarter. However, Punjab immediately went on a run to lead 68-61, and managed to hold on to a two possession lead right till the final buzzer.
As many as five Punjab players had scored in double digits led by Akshay Deep's 24 points. Panipat (Haryana) born Sahil, who trains in the Ludhiana Basketball Academy and represents Punjab, was named man of the match. This was the latest achievement for the teenager who is currently on the junior Indian team which just returned from its 8th place finish at the FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Men.
Punjab (Akshay Deep 24, Gurwinder S 16, Sahil 15) bt Basketball Club of Haryana (BCH) (Yudhvir 19, Bhupender 17, Vipin 12) 79-75 [24-26, 16-16, 20-12, 19-21]
This was the second straight game featuring two teams yet to win in the competition. But unlike Punjab and BCH, which featured many youngsters, these were two seasoned teams which had competed well in their two losses so far.
With ONGC Dehradun and Income Tax Chennai being the other teams in the group, It could be argued that Group A is the group of death in this tournament.
Haryana were aching to register their first win in the state's first ever All India Championship, and that desperation showed right from the get go. Haryana led from the start right to the finish, with their lead ballooning with each passing minute. They led 25-22 at the end of the first quarter and 47-35 at halftime, before Air Force mounted a semblance of a comeback in the third. But that turned out to be the lull before the final storm for Haryana, which scored a whopping 33 points in the fourth. Belying expectations, it wasn't international guard Vinay Kaushik who led the charge for Haryana. In fact he was the side's fourth highest scorer, as diminutive point guard Narender was in scorching touch from beyond the arc. Narender would hit 5 threes in route to deservedly being named the man of the match, for arguably his best ever scoring performance at the senior level.
Haryana (Narender 28, Ravinder 16, Pradeep 16, Vinod 14, Vinay 13) bt Indian Air Force (Ashutosh Rai 23, Rohit 15, Joginder 12, Nikhil 10) 102-78 [25-22, 22-13, 22-27, 33-16]
In the final Group A league match, ONGC Dehradun outlasted the short staffed Income Tax, Chennai 73-50 to cruise into the semifinals as the top seeded team from Group A. Income Tax, Chennai too has progressed to the semifinals as the second group team. Featuring only 7 players in their squad, Income Tax, Chennai were dealt with a further blow as starting point guard, and current India player, Akilan Pari had to sit out the match due to an ankle sprain.
In his absence, fellow international Rikin Pethani shouldered the load on both ends of the floor. However, even for the graceful Rikin, the task of handling rival centres Amritpal Singh and Murali Krishna was too much to bear. Amritpal returned to the side after missing the previous few games, and immediately energised himself and the crowd with a transition dunk in the second half. Income Tax, which led at the end of the first quarter 21-19, was soon swept by the versatility of the ONGC attack. ONGC features three current internationals Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, Yadwinder Singh and Amritpal, and all three imposed their will at various stages of the match.
Backup guard Hakkem had a few impressive plays for Income Tax, but the Dehradun side were largely untroubled, winning by a 23 point margin.
In the final league match of the tournament, Indian Railway beat Army to go atop Group B. Indian Railway was lulled into complacency as it held a 11 point lead going into the second quarter. As a result, eventual man of the match Jai Bir took advantage, turning out into the X-Factor of the game. The guard had 5 three pointers, started from the end of the first quarter and stretching upto the end of the third quarter, to help Army outscore Railway 44-40. Railway led 66-59 going into the final 10 minutes, and Jai Bir getting fouled out at the start of the period was a godsend for the side that went on a 32-21 tear to end the game with a big 98-80 victory. for Railway, centre Somveer had a big scoring night of 32 points, aided by Gagan (16 pts) & Ajay Pratap (15 pts).
Indian Railway (Somveer 32, Gagan 16, Ajay Pratap 15, Birender 14) bt Indian Army (Ramesh 17, Jai Bir 15, Gopal Ram 14, Vishal 14) 98-80 [26-15, 19-19, 21-25, 32-21]
The inside stories of Indian Basketball - Sony Six TV - 2 days ago
High up in the hilly abode of Himachal Pradesh, lies a fascinating little basketball secret. The Sherabling Monastery, located in Dharamshala, has monks who are in love with basketball. That's right, children from the monastery go out and enjoy the sport that is loved by millions around the globe. NBA Hangout, a new weekly show, gives us an inside view of the fascinating stories related to basketball in India. A segment in the brand new show talks about how basketball has entered the liv... [read more]
High up in the hilly abode of Himachal Pradesh, lies a fascinating little basketball secret. The Sherabling Monastery, located in Dharamshala, has monks who are in love with basketball. That's right, children from the monastery go out and enjoy the sport that is loved by millions around the globe.
NBA Hangout, a new weekly show, gives us an inside view of the fascinating stories related to basketball in India. A segment in the brand new show talks about how basketball has entered the lives of the monks at Sherabling Monastery. The story was quite different a decade ago when monks in Buddhist monasteries weren't allowed to play sports. However, with the growing awareness about the positive mental and physical influence of sports, the children at the monastery were allowed to explore the boon of sports. The rest, as they say, is history. Preferring to play basketball over indoor activities like video games, these young monks cannot wait to get out and shoot some hoops.
Besides the children being astutely aware of the many benefits of playing basketball (one particularly jovial boy mentions his ambitions of growing really tall and becoming a champion in the sport), what strikes a chord is the sheer joy basketball brings them. Despite playing other sports, they monks have a special fondness for basketball and are very enthusiastic about playing it everyday.
Whatever their reasons for playing, whatever the story behind their discovery of the sport, one thing is for certain. Basketball has added a touch of color to the austere lives led by the monks and is a heart-warming example of the magic of hoops and sport in general.
You can catch more such fascinating stories on NBA Hangout on TVF Play and on Thursday at 7 P.M. on Six and Six HD
ONGC Dehradun scored its second straight win defeating Income Tax (Gujarat) 88-71 in men's Group B league of the 31st Federation Cup basketball championship here on Thursday. The IT boys knew they were up against one of the best teams in the country. But they displayed guts of steel, dribbling boldly and confidently into the rival area for precious points, in the first quarter. ONGC, the championship favourite, meanwhile, played in a much relaxed manner. The idea was to exercise its str... [read more]
ONGC Dehradun scored its second straight win defeating Income Tax (Gujarat) 88-71 in men's Group B league of the 31st Federation Cup basketball championship here on Thursday.
The IT boys knew they were up against one of the best teams in the country. But they displayed guts of steel, dribbling boldly and confidently into the rival area for precious points, in the first quarter.
ONGC, the championship favourite, meanwhile, played in a much relaxed manner. The idea was to exercise its strategies for the final league against a strong Indian Overseas Bank on Friday. It was, in fact, a rehearsal of sorts for the team.
After its main players secured a good 15-point lead in the first session, ONGC tested its bench strength.
Income Tax, on the other hand, continued to work hard at the flanks. Dishanth V. Shah, the only tall star in the team, who looked smooth and easy beating the defence in the first half, suddenly could not find the space to move around as he was completely checked by the big men from Uttarakhand.
Income Tax could have still made a match of it had its bench been strong enough. It had just three to boast of as against ONGC's eight. They tried their level best in the final quarter but the damage had already been done.
Late on Wednesday, Customs and Central Excise (Kerala) held its nerves to clinch a 78-77 thriller over a fighting Ludhiana BA.
The results: Men: ONGC (Uttarakhand) 88 (Yadwinder Singh 21, Vishesh Briguvanshi 20) bt Income Tax (Gujarat) 71 (Dishant V. Shah 20, Indravijay Singh 16); Army Service Corps & Centre (Karnataka) 87 (Issac T. Thomas 28, Vivekananda 16) bt Ludhiana BA 64 (Arshpreet Singh 19, Rajveer Singh 18); IOB 75 bt Central Railway 58.
On Wednesday: IOB 82 (G. Sivabalan 20, Hareesh Koroth 19) bt Income Tax (Gujarat) 71 (Dhaval P. Ulva 20, Dishan V. Shaji 19); Customs & Central Excise (Kerala) 78 (R. Manoj 30, K.R. Nikhil 23) bt Ludhiana BA 77 (Arshpreet Bhullar 21, Rahul Mehla 16).
Women: West Bengal 76 (Madhu Kumari 25, Sitamani Tudu 19) bt Kerala 55 (P.G. Anjana 11, Nimmi George 9); Chhattisgarh 105 (Poonam Chaturvedi 42, Riya Verma 18) bt Punjab 75 (Nicha Netam 15, Mahima Bharadwaj 11).
Vishesh Bhriguvanshi (26 points) and Amritpal Singh (19 points) did the bulk of the scoring as defending champion ONGC (Uttarakhand) defeated first-time entrant Central Railways (CR) 75-64 in the men's Group B league of the 31st Federation Cup basketball championship here on Wednesday. ONGC fielded its top five at the start, but they failed to fire early. Central Railways cashed in on the chance and raced to a 6-2 lead in the opening minute with Raj Kalbhok shooting twice from outside th... [read more]
Vishesh Bhriguvanshi (26 points) and Amritpal Singh (19 points) did the bulk of the scoring as defending champion ONGC (Uttarakhand) defeated first-time entrant Central Railways (CR) 75-64 in the men's Group B league of the 31st Federation Cup basketball championship here on Wednesday.
ONGC fielded its top five at the start, but they failed to fire early. Central Railways cashed in on the chance and raced to a 6-2 lead in the opening minute with Raj Kalbhok shooting twice from outside the ring. ONGC did its best to keep the young shooter in check.
Later, after tightening the screws, it went into attack mode through Bhriguvanshi and Amritpal.
It was the former, in fact, who made a big difference. Standing at over six-foot, the playmaker showed great ball control. He cut down pace time and again and pressed on the power button when it mattered most to make it difficult for Railways.
Amritpal offered him great support and the points started to flow. However, the Central Railways team managed to stay close with ONGC leading 43-32 at the break.
It was ONGC's brilliance in the second half that decided the outcome of the game. It rested its stars, barring Bhriguvanshi, and tested its bench which did the finishing well. ONGC was all over Railways for most part of the last quarter. Railways could have matched the points charts had it not concentrated too hard on its defence. 'It was our first match so it took some time for us to settle down,' said ONGC coach Amit Kumar.
He had words of praise for the Central Railways side. 'They were really good. They were all new players and it was quite natural that they came out with new ideas.'
Central Railways coach Hanif Patel was pleased with his team's performance.
'We lost, but not without a fight. ONGC is a strong side and our boys made a match out of it. We played four of our tall players, but still struggled to beat the ONGC defence. That was because they stood taller than our boys.
Men: Army Service Corps & Centre (Karnataka) 57 (Isaac Thomas 16, Shashi Kumar 13, Jeethendar Singh 13) bt Indian Air Force 51 (Narendra Kumar 20, Joginder Singh 10); ONGC (Uttarakhand) 75 (Vishesh Bhriguvanshi 26, Amritpal Singh 19) bt Central Railways 64 (C. Amit 22, Akshadeep 11).
Women: Telangana 70 (Divya Palanivel 15, Aswathy 14, M. Gayathri 10) bt Punjab 39 (Gagandeep 10); Kerala 74 (P.R. Surya 16, P.G. Anjana 13) bt Delhi 36 (Sahiba Maan 12); Tamil Nadu 72 bt West Bengal 67; Southern Railway 69 bt Chhattisgarh 51. Courtesy - The Hindu
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