|Saturday – February 8th, 2014|
|Punjab University||60||82||Hindustan University|
|FINAL. HINDUSTAN UNIVERSITY WINS.|
Varanasi, 8th February 2014: Hindustan University Chennai has won the Inter Zonal All India University Basketball Championship held at the Banaras Hindu University’s Maharaja Dr. Vibhutinarain Singh Indoor Stadium. Hindustan easily beat defending champions Punjab University Chandigarh 82-60 to take home the crown. Punjab University has to settle for a second place finish.
Hindustan’s Nigerian point guard Agu starred yet again with 34 breathtaking points that broke Punjab University’s back. Punjab appeared surprisingly sluggish and uncertain which Hindustan University exploited fully, with multiple steals, fast breaks and offensive putbacks. The lopsided final was, in a sense, a disappointment for spectators who were expecting a fierce showdown after two closely contested semifinal games yesterday.
Agu was rightly named the best player of the tournament as he stood head and shoulders over the other participants. His explosive athleticism, ball handling, passing ability, leadership and clutch performances, not to mention his scoring (he averaged in excess of 30 ppg throughout the tournament) made him the automatic choice for the MVP award.
Earlier in the evening, Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar beat Jain University in the third place match. This is GNDU Amritsar’s first podium finish after finishing third eight years ago.
In the closing ceremony, the Chief Guest, former international player and Dhyan Chand Awardee Ram Kumar, lauded both teams for their performance. Notably, BHU’s Event Organising Secretary Dr RN Singh expressed his relief that the tournament was incident free. It may be recalled that when BHU previously hosted the All India University Championships four years ago, the semifinals between the home team and Delhi University had been disrupted as DU was forced to throw the game at gunpoint. This year though, none of that happened and all 42 league matches and knockouts games took place smoothly without any disruption. Let’s hope things stay that way.
Other larger issues that need to be addressed at the earliest by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) which oversees this event, are:
1) The lack of funding/sponsors and mainstream media coverage of this event.
2) Zero prize money, trophies or medals to the winning teams. (The four best sides were given thin gym bags of very average quality, apart from certificates.)
3) Absence of a digital shot clock or game clock.
4) Cement flooring as against the recommended maple wood floors for indoor courts.
5) The utilization of the FIBA Live Stats software, which tracks all the important statistics of a match (team and individual field goal attempts, FG%, individual stats of rebounds, assists, turnovers, points in the paint, freethrow % etc.).
The five suggestions pointed above have already been implemented at the National Basketball Championships across most age groups (at least for the senior and u-19 level). These basic facilities now need to percolate down at the very least to other important tournaments such as the Senior State Championships and the Zonal and National rounds of the University Championship.
Hindustan University Chennai 82 (Agu 34, Pal 20) bt Punjab University Chandigarh 60 (Ashok 13, Kuldeep 10)
Third place match
Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar 81 (Guriqbal 20, Navalpreet 16) bt Jain University Bangalore 61 (Vinoth 20, Kaif Zia 18)
First- Hindustan University Chennai
Second- Punjab University Chandigarh
Third- Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar
Fourth- Jain University Bangalore
Play by Play
(*note that all four teams below have already qualified to Level 1 and these matches are being held for the sole purpose of granting the two winning teams the right to choose their pre-quarter final opponent from level 1)
Girls: Kerala 60 (Nivya Raj 20, Anusha 19) bt Maharashtra 53 (Shruti 21, Neha 12) [21-11, 13-17, 13-11, 13-14]