16-04-13: The story of David versus Goliath is renowned because of its uniqueness. The more common occurance is of the Goliaths of the world destroying the Davids. Such was the case in this Pool A match between ONGC and Karnataka.

Karnataka needed an unlikely win to prevent being eliminated from this tournament. ONGC just had to continue where they had left off from their previous victory over RCF, riding on the mesmerizing genius of Vishesh Bhriguvanshi & Co. ONGC dominated the battle in the paint scoring 38 points against Karnataka’s 26. They built up a huge third quarter lead of 28 points, after which majority of the starting 5 sat out the fourth quarter.

Karnataka were held to a lowly 49 points, thanks to the defensive effort of forward Yadwinder Singh who restricted Karnataka’s young centre, Arvind (15) to just 9 points and a sole rebound. With Arvind out of the picture, Karnataka lacked the firepower on offense to make it a fair contest.

For ONGC, Mohit Bhandari had an all round performance with 12 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Vishesh was the top scorer with 16 points. ONGC is now through to the semi-finals. They face the undefeated Punjab in their last Pool encounter on Thursday, 18th April to decide the top ranked team in Pool A.

Highlight Plays

Mohit Bhandari, the experienced ONGC guard does a no look between the legs pass in transition to the trailing Vishesh, who easily lays the ball in for two points. The move was so quick that it escaped the attention of most people in the crowd.

Karnataka Captain Srinivas Naik with a sensational no look pass from half court, up ahead to Arvind, who goes for the one handed dunk but misses. Maybe he should have just laid it in. But what a pass!

  “We were superior in all aspects. Their side is very young. We have three players who have been playing together for the last 9 years: Murali Krishna, Mohit Bhandari and myself.”

–       Sridhar S, the senior ONGC player, fondly called as ‘Anna’ by his teammates

Before all matches we analyse the opposition players. We knew Arvind was good under the basket, so we tried to box him out.”

–       Sridhar, on ONGC’s preparations leading into this game

Hamaari team aisi hain ki agar ek bhi player form mein aa jaaye to game hamaari ho jaaegi (Our team is such that we need just one player in form). IOB is our toughest competitor. Teamwise, they have the best record in this tournament. Agar zaroorat pade, I will play.”

–       Trideep Rai, former India captain who plays for ONGC. He is currently out with back spasms sustained during the 3 on 3 nationals earlier this month.

Thumbs up

ONGC’s 61% field goal percentage as against 45% for Karnataka. This was primarily due to Murali Krishna (3 of 3) and Yadwinder Singh (4 of 7) who could do whatever they pleased around the rim.

Thumbs Down

Srinivas Naik’s shooting woes: The Karnataka captain was 2 of 9 from the field (22%) and 1 of 6 (17%) from the 3 point line.

Arvind A:The young Karnataka centre who had scored nearly half of Karnataka’s points in their loss against Punjab, had major trouble getting position down low, even getting blocked by substitute centre no. 15 Shabeer.

Wednesday April 17th:

5:00 PM Southern Railways vs. Maharashtra (Women)

6:30 PM Maharashtra vs. IOB (Men ‘B’);

8:00 PM Western Railways vs. Indian Air Force (Men ‘B’)

This event’s coverage is also available on the official Ramu Memorial website.

Gopalakrishnan R
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