Southern Railway 90, Maharashtra 43 (Women)In what has been the most lopsided contest so far, Southern Railway beat Maharashtra 90-43 to go through to the finals. Out of the three women’s teams in this RMBT, Maharashtra ended up third. It has been a severely depleted Maharashtra side on display in this tournament. Devoid of young star Shireen Limaye and other seniors such as Sneha Rajguru, Smriti Radhakrishnan and Anamika, Maharashtra simply lacked the offensive firepower to threaten Southern Railway. Maharashtra finally had a top scorer not named Manisha Dange. Amrutha Bhuskute was their leading scorer in this loss, with 13 points and 10 rebounds.33-year-old veteran Manisha Dange could muster only 12 points on a rare off day in shooting. Southern ran their offense through centre R Rajapriyadarshini, who scored 28 points and grabbed a high 19 rebounds with relative ease. Maharashtra was woefully undersized in the paint, as their aggressive centre Kasturi M had to sit out this game after twisting her ankle in an earlier match.

Sights and Sounds

It takes two to clap. The Southern Railway women’s team has a unique pregame ritual. Each player does a two handed high five with the other player that peps them up for the game. What ensues is an intertwining bunch of players searching for a new teammate to greet. Is this clapping order pre-meditated, we wonder!

Hasta hua noorani chehra… A young girl Kavita takes us down the nostalgic route with her graceful half time routine. The Chattisgarh women’s players who had turned up to watch this game were enthralled by this performance, mouthing the lyrics with dreamy looks in their eyes.

Remembering the Titans! The evening also witnessed a felicitation ceremony at the Don Bosco School, Matunga. Former greats that included Shri Rajesh Srivastava, Arjuna Awardee Shri Ram Kumar and Smt Prasanna Jayashankar were felicitated. Ram Kumar Ji gave a heartfelt speech to all the current players reminding them of their responsibility to work hard and take the game to greater heights. More on this event coming up soon.

U- 21 Boy’s Semifinals

When the cats are away the mice will play! On a day that saw no senior men’s basketball action, two junior boys’ semi finals took place. The first was between powerhouse Savio Club and the home team Indian Gymkhana. In the second semi-finals, which was also the last match of the evening, Nagpada Neighbourhood House (NNH) locked horns with familiar foes Masthan YMCA.

One of the perks of being under 21 is the all or nothing approach of all the players, who truly believe that a basketball game is the be all and end all of life. They are naturally flexible, with boundless energy. The recovery period between games is next to minimal. All these factors, when understood in the context of an u-21 tournament, you end up with is a highly competitive and emotionally charged affair.

In the first semifinals, Indian Gymkhana unfortunately endured a sound thrashing at the hands of Savio Club. They were hammered 71-39 on the back of a ruthlessly executed transition offense. L Kush and Melvin R jointly top scored for Savio with 19 points. Indian Gymkhana had two players, Israel and Akansh scoring 10 points each.

NNH versus Masthan YMCA was a closely fought game. The two clubs situated a stone’s throw away from each other, showcased one of the most frenetic displays of back and forth basketball. NNH had a whopping 92 field goal attempts as against Masthan’s 80. To the spectators, it was like watching 10 mini blurs on the court. Eventually, Masthan was better at doing the same thing, winning 82 to 64. Salim Malik (14) of Masthan dominated proceedings with his all round display. He had 11 rebounds and a huge 31 points that included numerous finishes in the paint despite drawing contact.

The u-21 finals between Savio Club and Masthan YMCA will be played on Sunday, 21st April, 4:00 PM onwards.

Gopalakrishnan R
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