Press Release: Aurangabad boys made a winning start, as the 65th State-level under-18 basketball tournament, organised by the Aurangabad District and Taluka Basketball Association, tipped off at the SAI’s Western Training Centre in Aurangabad today.

In the opening match, Aurangabad scored a comfortable 38-6 victory over Gondia. The local boys dominated the proceedings, albeit they could have done much better. In another boys match, Pune overcame a stiff resistance from Nashik, winning 63-51. Both the teams matched each other in strength in the first quarter before Pune raised its game in the second quarter and managed to hold their nerves in the last two quarters to seal the fate of their fighting opponents.

Beed boys also tasted success, defeating Chandrapur 44-21, while Solapur put it across Bhandara 41-24. On the distaff side, Mumbai North snuffed out Nashik’s challenge, winning 39-17, while Yavatmal proved too strong for Parbhani, winning 40-10. Unlike the girls, Yavatmal boys, however, went down tamely to Solapur 6-25.

Earlier, district collector Vikram Kumar inaugurated the tourney in the presence of assistant director of local SAI centre Virendra Bhandarkar, organising secretary Manjit Singh Daroga, joint secretary of Maharashtra State Basketball Association Ravi Nayar, Lalit Nata, President of local district association Mahesh Bhagwat, vice-president Sanjay Dongre, Sandeep Dhangare and Vinayak Pandey.

Over 600 players representing 34 boys teams and 25 girls teams from Maharashtra are vying for top honors in the five-day league-cum-knockout tournament. Maharashtra boys and girls teams will be selected from this tournament to represent Nationals in Kerala. Last year due to rains, the finals were cancelled and Pune and Mumbai central in girls, and Pune and Mumbai South West in boys were declared joint winners.

Gopalakrishnan R
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