The opening match of the day between Bharath Sports Union and Rovers, Dharwad began at a breakneck pace, with both teams preferring a run and gun offense. BSU cruised home comfortably in the end, and even had the luxury of sitting out four of their five starters in the second half.
Near upset 1: Although no pushover, not many expected National Games Village BC to run Sports Hostel, Bangalore so close. NGVBC could do no wrong in the first half. They knocked down multiple outside shots, ran the break with panache and had numerous offensive putbacks courtesy their athletic centre Issac.
Sports Hostel didn’t know what had hit them, and their many turnovers in the first few minutes didn’t help their cause. They settled down midway through the third quarter and their forward Ganesh’s 19 points helped them to a narrow 51-44 win.
Near upset 2: When your tallest player is the same height as the opposition point guard, you know that winning the game is going to be an uphill task.
The much shorter VBC Mandya team though, gave the fancied Southern Blues side a real run for their money. Egged on from the sidelines by Arvind, the talented young forward currently playing for the Karnataka Sr. team, VBC Mandya showed tremendous zeal in pushing the ball ahead through their streaking fast break specialists.
Southern Blues were guilty of missing sitters under the basket for the entire game. Their frustration was compounded when the referee called a technical against one of their players for vociferously contesting a foul call. In the end, it all proved to be a little too much for Mandya. Southern Blues won 70-65.
The broken nose: In a showdown between two probable finalists, powerhouses Indiranagar Basketball Club (IBBC) overcame Jayanagar Sports Club (JSC) in the last match of the evening. These are well coached sides containing players who are confident, talented and unafraid of rising to the occasion.
The scores remained neck and neck throughout, with nothing to separate the two teams. IBBC’s forwards, Nityn and Karan, who have been dominant in the earlier games, were countered single handedly by JSC’s Varun. On the offensive end, JSC generated most of their scoring in transition through the unstoppable Parvez (22 points).
Two events in the second half turned the game in IBBC’s favour. On a drive in by a JSC guard, IBBC’s Nityn rose up for a mammoth block. However, he landed heavily on the much smaller JSC player as they both crashed to the ground. While Nityn got up unscathed, the JSC player’s nose was broken and he was rushed to the hospital. Last we heard, he had to get 14 stitches.
The second incident which broke JSC’s back was their centre Varun getting fouled out in the fourth quarter. This immediately opened the floodgates for IBBC’s forwards who scored a barrage of points in the paint. IBBC took this game 54-51 and are now on top of their pool.
Results for Matches played at Kanteerava Courts on Sunday, 7-7-2013:
- Sports Hostel, Bangalore 51 (Ganesh 19) bt National Games Village BC 44 (Issac 17, Brahma 11) HT 15-27.
- Bharath Sports Union 43 (Shreyas 13) bt Rovers, Dharwad 20 (Mosin 12) HT 21-14.
- Southern Blues 70 (Amit 14, Arun 11) bt VBC, Mandya 65 (Shamanth 14, Nikhil 13) HT 30-38.
- Indiranagar Basketball Club (IBBC) 54 (Kuttappa 13, Nityn 12) bt Jayanagar Sports Club 51 (Parvez 22) HT 23-17.
Schedule for Day 5, Monday, 8-7-2013:
Court No. 1
- Sports Hostel, Bangalore v. Bharath Sports Union; 2:30 pm onwards (Note: This match was initially scheduled for last Friday, 6-7-2013, but is being restarted because of rain interruption late in the second half. Sports Hostel had been leading at that point. According to the organisors, the tournament rules state that any match which cannot be resumed within two hours of the interruption must be played again from scratch.)
- Jayanagar Sports Club v. SAI, Dharwad
- Rovers, Dharwad v. Rising Star, Mysore
Court No. 2
- Indiranagar Basketball Club (IBBC) v. Kanaka, Kolar; 3:00 pm onwards
- National Games Village BC gets a walkover