Odisha Boys in action during their pre-quarterfinal match against Maharashtra. Image Copyright: Gopalakrishnan R

Odisha Boys in action during their pre-quarterfinal match against Maharashtra. Image Copyright: Gopalakrishnan R

The two favourites in the boys and girls sections, Punjab and Chhattisgarh respectively, coasted through to the semifinals. Punjab beat a hard working, but visibly inferior Odisha team 91-45. Chhattisgarh dominated from start to finish against Rajasthan to win their quarterfinal match 103-56. The tallest girl in the tournament, 6ft 7’’ Poonam Chaturvedi top scored again for the winners with 45 effortless points. Chhattisgarh will now face Tamil Nadu girls in the semifinals. Chhattisgarh had already comprehensively beaten Tamil Nadu in an earlier league encounter, and will fancy their chances to qualify for the finals.

The southern boys’ teams of Tamil Nadu and Kerala also progressed to the last four. After trailing by two points against Karnataka at half-time, Kerala went on a searing 15-2 run early in the fourth quarter to win the game 77-72. They now face the daunting task of upsetting Punjab in the semifinals. “We will not give in without a fight,” stressed Kerala’s senior playmaker Sreerag when asked about his team’s chances against the athletic Punjab side.

Tamil Nadu and Delhi boys to clash in highly anticipated semifinals

Outside of Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Delhi are the strongest contenders to win the 64th Junior National Basketball Championship. Tamil Nadu dismissed the challenge posed by last year’s winners Chhattisgarh. Point guard Sanjeev Kumar’s valiant 37 points went in vain, as Tamil Nadu won 80-64. Sanjeev is among the first batch of trainees at the world class IMG Academy in Florida, USA. He is one of the recipients of the IMG-Reliance Scholarship Program, along with seven other young Indian players that includes promising 7ft 1’’ Satnam Singh. “We are in a rebuilding stage. Many of our best players from last year like Ajay Pratap Singh, Shyam Sundar, Akash Bhasin have now graduated to the senior level. We will treat this as a learning experience and come back stronger next year,” reasoned Mr. Rajesh Patel, manager (sports), Bhilai Steel Plant, who has been the prime architect behind Chhattisgarh’s recent successes at the international level.

Kerala and Maharashtra girls will also meet in the semifinals after winning their respective quarterfinals. Maharashtra successfully negated the threat posed by UP’s influential, but tiny point guard, Preeti Kumari. Their greater size allowed them to score repeatedly in the paint (46 points to UP’s 18), which was the main reason for the final match score of 70-53. Maharashtra will meet its match when it faces Kerala. Kerala kept enlarging its lead from start to finish, condemning Karnataka to a 74-29 drubbing.

Odisha boys join the big league

Earlier in the morning, Odisha kept punching above its weight to beat Maharashtra in a pre-quarterfinal match. After topping its lower pool, Odisha qualified to the main draw and got the opportunity to test its strength against a fourth placed upper pool team, Maharashtra. Vociferous and relentless support from local crowds energized the Odisha players who clamped down defensively on the Maharashtra players. The charged up atmosphere unsettled the young Maharashtra players, who missed open shots and turned the ball over repeatedly.

Results of Pre-Quarter Finals Level – 1 (Upper Pool)Boys1. Odisha (Bharat Tamsoy 16, Jovakim Lakra 16, Firoj Barwa 15) bt Maharashtra (Mihir Joshi 18, Salam Qureshi 12) 84-70 [QT Scores: 22-18, 22-13, 22-13, 18-16]2. Madhya Pradesh (Brigeh 13, Anam 13, Mohit 13) bt Haryana (Pradeep 21, Udhvir 20) 84-70 [QT Scores: 21-13, 12-23, 23-21, 28-13]Girls1. Karnataka (Kavana 18, Sapriya 10, Baby 10, Aishwarya 9) bt Haryana (Suman.P 22, Prince.S 18, Saveeta.G 11) 71-57 [QT Scores: 26-13, 21-16, 9-13, 15-15]

2. Rajasthan (Nisha Sharma 29, Mamta 9, Anita 9) bt Punjab (Nirmal Kaur 33, Kulwinder Kaur 13, Harshpreet Kaur 8) 70-68 [QT Scores: 11-9, 19-16, 19-18, 21-25]

Results of Quarter Finals Level – 1 (Upper Pool)

Boys

1. Punjab (Arshdeep Singh 14, Rajueer Singh 14, Satnam Singh 12, Dildar Singh 11, Khushmeet Singh 10) bt Odisha (Aler 10, Firoj 10, Amarjeet 9) 91-45 [QT Scores: 19-7, 22-11, 12-11, 18-16]

2. Delhi (Narendar 18, Pardeep Kumar 18, Akkijeet Singh Sonal 16, Gaurav Ohlan 15) bt Madhya Pradesh (Akash Bhasin 15, Laxman Thappa 9, Syed Dnam Ali 8) 80-57 [QT Scores: 29-12, 22-13, 16-16, 13-16]

3. Kerala (Akhil A. R. 31, Jishnu G.Nair 19, Sreerag N. Nair 13, Arun Babu 10) bt Karnataka (Sharath.M 22, Issac Thomas 15, Clinton A.P 10, Sowkin Shetty 10) 77-72 [QT Scores: 15-8, 24-27, 16-22, 22-15]

4. Tamil Nadu (P. Ragunath 26, G. Anto Bethlen 16, P. Vijay 13, S. Karthickeyan 11) bt Chhattisgarh (Sanjeev 37, Rajesh 15) 80-64 [QT Scores: 22-10, 16-18, 16-13, 26-23]

Girls

1. Kerala (Poojamul K.S 23, Vinaya Joseph 18, Grima Merlin Vargh 10) bt Karnataka (Dechamma P.T 9, Kavana C.R 4) 74-29 [QT Scores: 29-8, 09-10, 16-02, 20-09]

2. Chhattisgarh (Poonam Chaturvedi 45, Sangeetha Kaur 29, Pooja 13) bt Rajasthan (Nisha Sharma 25, Usha Chouhan 12, Manth Gurjar 7) 103-56 [QT Scores: 26-11, 27-14, 30-14, 20-17]

3. Maharashtra (Sruti 20, Kritika 19, Shireen 17) bt Uttar Pradesh (Niharika 20, Preeti 18, Barkha 9)70-53 [QT Scores: 20-16, 17-8, 17-14, 16-15]

4. Tamil Nadu (Hemlata 23, Sharmila 18, Keerthi 18, Selumitra 16) bt Madhya Pradesh (Princy 22, Amishi 21, Monika 17) 90-78 [QT Scores: 29-24, 11-18, 26-20, 24-16]

Results of Level 1 to Level 2 Matches (played between teams who have been relegated from Level 1 to Level 2)

Boys

1. Rajasthan (Abhimanu Singh 28, Shubham Tomar 14, Sashi Kant 8) bt Andhra Pradesh (S.S.V.R Krishna Reddy 15, M. Siva Burga Prasad 12, K.Akhil Vikranth Reddy 8) 75-52 [QT Scores: 21-12, 31-14, 12-7, 11-19]

Girls

1. Odisha (Rajashree 16, Shibani 12, Jayashree 10) bt Delhi (Soumya 15, Monika 9) 44-41 [QT Scores: 17-12, 13-3, 6-16, 8-10]

Schedule for 07-09-2013

07-09-2013

Court – 1

No Team “A” Vs Team “B” Group Timing Result
9th and 10th Place
103 Punjab Vs Haryana Girls 07.00 AM
104 Maharashtra Vs Haryana Boys 08.30AM
Loser Knockout Finals
105 Assam Vs. Andhra Pradesh Girls 10.00 AM
106 Bihar Vs. Jharkhand Boys 11.30 AM
Level 1 Semi – Finals
107 Chhattishgarh Vs Tamil Nadu Girls 02.00 PM
108 Delhi Vs Tamil Nadu Boys 03.30 PM
109 Maharashtra Vs Kerala Girls 05.00 PM
110 Punjab Vs Kerala Boys 06.30 PM

Court – 2

No Team “A” Vs Team “B” Group Timing Result
Classification for 5th, and 6th, 7th and 8th Place
111 Rajasthan Vs Madhya Pradesh Girls 07.00 AM
112 Madhya Pradesh Vs Chhattishgarh Boys 08.30 AM
Classification for 5th and 6th Place
113 W/O Rajasthan Vs. Madhya Pradesh Vs W/O Uttar Pradesh Vs. Karnataka Girls 04.00 PM
114 W/O Madhya Pradesh Vs. Chhattishgarh Vs W/O Odisha Vs. Karnataka Boys 05.30 PM

Court – 3

No Team “A” Vs Team “B” Group Timing Result
Classification for 5th, and 6th, 7th and 8th Place
115 Uttar Pradesh Vs Karnataka Girls 07.00 AM
116 Karnataka Vs Odisha Boys 08.30 AM
Classification for 7th and 8th Place
117 L/O Rajasthan Vs. Madhya Pradesh Vs L/O Uttar Pradesh Vs. Karnataka Girls 04.00 PM
118 L/O Madhya Pradesh Vs. Chhattishgarh Vs L/O Odisha Vs. Karnataka Boys 05.30 PM

All the match results along with the upcoming schedule will be posted on the BFI website. Regular updates can also be viewed on BFI’s Facebook and twitter pages.

Note: This article has been published with permission from the Basketball Federation of India. The original article, on the BFI website, can be accessed here.

Gopalakrishnan R
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