Punjab, Railways basket national titles
Chennai: Punjab men dashed Tamil Nadu’s hopes of a sixth title with a 70-62 win in the weekend final, while Indian Railways women’s team were too good for Chattisgarh, winning 94-70, in the 62nd senior National basketball championships here Saturday.
Perhaps, the weight of expectations told on Tamil Nadu who just could not come up with anything extra to trouble the sturdy Punjab players.
Right through, the teams went neck and neck but Punjab stretched the difference with strong performances in the first (24-15) and third (19-13) quarters while Tamil Nadu could not really dictate terms in the two quarters that they won, the second (17-13) and fourth (14-17) as the deficit proved too much to make up.
Leading the Punjab’s charge were Amritpal Singh (21) Talwinder Singh (17) and Jagdeep Singh (17) while Rikin Pethani (24) played the lone hand for the Tamil Nadu.
The women’s final turned out to be rather one-sided with Railways, led by Geethu Anna Jose (31) were just too good for Chhattisgarh who did well to keep pace with their more experienced rivals, going into the break level on 36.
However, in the second-half, it was Railways all the way with their superior fitness with Smruthi Radhakrishnan came up with some stunning three-pointers to complete the rout.
The results (finals):
Men – Punjab 70 (Amritpal Singh 21, Talwinder Singh 17, Jagdeep Singh 17) bt Tamil Nadu 62 (Rikin Pethani 24, Saravana Rajan 5) Ht: 37-32.
Women – Indian Railways 94 (Geethu Anna Jose 31, Anitha Paul Durai 19, Anju Lakra 14, Smruthi Radhakrishn 11) bt Chhattishgarh 70 ( L.Deepa 20, Seema Singh 17, Kavita 17) Ht: 45-41.
For 3-4 places: Men – Indian Railways 89 (Gagandeep Singh 37, Jasjot Singh 14, Prakash Mishra 14) bt Services 81 (Narender Grewal 37, Gopal Ram 14, Joginder Singh 12) Ht-39-40.
Women – Tamil Nadu 68 (N. Shyamala Suguna 20, Apoorva Murlinath 15, Nenna Hareendran 13, Sunitha Suren 10) bt Delhi 68 (Sonika Ohlyan 14, Asha Hegde 11) Ht: 35-23.
The final standings (top 10):
Men: Punjab 1; Tamil Nadu 2; Indian Railways 3; Services 4; Kerala 5; Haryana 6; Uttarkhand 7; Delhi 8; Karnataka 9; Andhra Pradesh 10.
Women: Indian Railways 1; Chhattishgarh 2; Tamil Nadu 3; Delhi 4; Kerala 5; Karnataka 6; Maharashtra 7; Uttar Pradesh 8; Punjab 9; Andhra Pradesh 10.