Up and Under! ONGC (green) in action against Maharashtra (purple).

Up and Under! ONGC (dark blue) in action against Maharashtra (purple).

Press Release: Punjab rallied to overcome Services 82-68 in an interesting men’s Group-B round-robin league match of the UPL-9th Savio Cup All-India Basketball Tournament, sponsored by Tridhaatu Realty and Indian Oil and being organized by the Don Bosco Recreation Centre. The sturdy Punjab outfit trailed 31-39 after the opening two quarters, but came back strongly in the third, shooting 33 points against only six by their rivals, which ensured they emerged victors, at the floodlit Don Bosco High School courts, Matunga on Monday.

In the first quarter the scores were even at 14-all before Services took control of the second, scoring 25 points as compared to 17 by Punjab, to take an eight points lead at the break. But Punjab came roaring back with a solid performance in the second half to clinch the issue in their favour.

Palpreet Singh with 21 points and Arjun Singh with 20 points were responsible for Punjab’s win, while Ram Gopal (18) and Antony Nixon (11) were the main scorers for the losing side.

Meanwhile, Federation Cup champs ONGC outplayed Maharashtra 78-58 after enjoying a 41-29 half-time lead, for their second successive win in Group-A. The leading scorers for ONGC were Trideep Rai (18 points) and Amritpal Singh (16), while Saurabh (11) was the only Maharashtra player to get into double figures.

Earlier, IOB Tamil Nadu continued their fine winning run when they cruised to a 76-37 victory over a listless Income Tax in a men’s Group-A encounter. The southern team had outplayed Maharashtra 93-69 in their opening match the previous day.

IOB started off in rousing fashion by shooting consistently and also put up a dogged defence not giving their opponents the time and space to manoeuvre inside their territory.  Having gained a stranglehold of the proceedings they charged to a 31-4 lead in the first quarter and increased it to 59-14 by the halfway stage. Having established a 35-point lead, IOB slackened the pace in the remaining two quarters and with no fight back for Income Tax, they cantered to their second straight victory and enhanced their chance of qualifying for the semi-final league.

Results – Men’s league (Group-A): IOB 76 (Amjot Singh 17, Pratham Singh 15) beat Income Tax 37 (S. Ramkumar 11). Half-time: 59-14.

ONGC 78 (Trideep Rai 18, Amritpal Singh 16) beat Maharashtra 58 (Saurabh S 11). Half-time: 41-29.

Group-B: Punjab 82 (Palpreet Singh 21, Arjun Singh 20) beat Services 68 (Ram Gopal 18, Antony Nixon 11). Half-time: 31-39.

Gopalakrishnan R
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