Southern Railway women emerge winners
Southern Railway, Chennai clinched the top honours edging past a spirited Maharashtra 67-62 in an absorbing and well-contested women’s final 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, at the floodlit Don Bosco High School courts, Matunga on Saturday evening.
Both teams were unimpressive at the start and missed some easy lay-ups. But the Maharashtra girls proved to be a little bit better as they managed to convert some of the chances that came their way to take a 13-9 lead at the end of the first quarter. They maintained the tempo in the next to finish the first half with a healthy 33-19 lead.
After switching ends, Southern made a determined fight back and cut down the difference to just four points with Maharashtra in the lead at 49-45 at the end of the third quarter. The final 10 minutes were a nail-biting affair as the scores ran neck-and-neck at 60-all, before the Chennai girls surged ahead at 63-62 and then held their nerves to clinch the issue in their favour.
Apoorva Muralinath top scored with 19 points converting 13 out of 16 free throws and Raja Priyadarshini and Soniya Joy contributed 15 each. For Maharashtra, skipper Manisha Dange led with a superb display in which she scored 30 points and got good support from Shireen Limaye (13).
Southern received the winners cash award of Rs 50,000, while Maharashtra took home Rs 25,000.
Results – Women’s final: Southern Railway 67 (Apoorva Murlinath 19, Soniya Joy 15, Priyadarshani Raja 15) beat Maharashtra 62 (Manisha Dange 30, Shireen Limaye 13). Half-time: 19-33.
ONGC men beat familiar foes IOB
Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Uttarakhand underlined their supremacy over Indian Overseas Bank (IOB), Chennai by posting a convincing 70-52 win in the men’s final 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.
Inspired by the brilliance of Trideep Rai, ONGC who trailed 15-20 in the first quarter fought back gallantly and dominated the remaining three quarters to turn things around. Rai from a quick counter converted a basket at the stroke of half-time to put ONGC ahead at 31-29. Thereafter, Rai continued to work his magic on the court, and with good support from the temperamental Yadwinder Singh and the versatile Vishesh Bhrugavasnhi, he ensured ONGC emerge triumphant at the floodlit Don Bosco High School courts, Matunga, late on Saturday evening.
The Chennai team showed plenty of promise at the start and also gained the advantage till almost the end of the second quarter. However, they were unable to carry the momentum into the second half and with ONGC applying pressure, the IOB side caved in rather tamely.
Rai was ONGC’s leading scorer with 22 points, including three three-pointers. Yadwinder Singh (19) and Vishesh Bhrugavanshi (13) were the others who made decent contributions towards the win. For IOB, only P. Rikin (12 points) and P. Venkatesh (10) managed to get going.
The Uttarakhand outfit went home richer by Rs 1.25 lakhs, the winner’s cash award and the champions trophy, while IOB received the runners-up cash prize of Rs 65,000.
Earlier on in a concluding men’s semi-final league encounter, strong favourites to claim the top honours, ONGC (Oil & Natural Gas Corporation), Uttarakhand scored an authoritative 85-65 win against an unimpressive Punjab. ONGC, winners of the recently concluded Federation Cup in Ahmedabad, enjoyed total dominance throughout the match and at the half way stage were in a commanding position with a 41-31 advantage.
After resumption, ONGC continued to hold sway and with no fight back or any sort of resistance coming from the Punjabis, the Uttarakhand outfit cantered to victory.
Consistent performer, Vishesh Bhrugavanshi once again played a stellar role in ONGC’s triumph. He top-scorered with 24 points, while seasoned Trideep Rai and Amit S, chipped in with 21 and 18 points respectively. Skipper Arjun Singh (15 points), Harmandeep Singh (14) and Shahdab Khan (12) were the notable scorers for the Punjab side.
Results – Men’s final: ONGC 70 (Trideep Rai 22, Yadwinder Singh 19, Vishesh Bhrugavanshi 13) beat IOB 52 (P. Rikin 12, P. Venkatesh 10). Half-time: 31-29.
Men’s semi-final league: ONGC 85 (Vishesh B 24, Trideep Rai 21, Amit S 18) beat Punjab 65 (Arjun Singh 15, Harmandeep Singh 14, Shahdab Khan 12). Half-time: 41-31.