Kochi, 31th May 2014: Defending champions Chhattisgarh junior women sleepwalked their way into the semifinals with a lopsided 119-61 victory over Delhi. Also making it to the semifinals is the Uttar Pradesh jr women’s team which registered an inspired 67-65 victory over Maharashtra despite its star player Preeti Kumari sitting out for half the match due to a leg injury she had sustained in the earlier league stages. Maharashtra captain Sruthi Menon’s 38 points were in vain as compared to UP’s guard duo of Barkha Sonkar (26 pts) and Preeti Kumari (17 pts).
In quarterfinal games played one after the other, the Punjab boys and girls teams recorded victories over Haryana sides. An extremely aggressive Punjab jr men’s side thundered into the semifinals with a 110-74 victory while the women won 82-70. In the other quarterfinal match, Maharashtra jr men continued their exciting run in the competition with a 90-77 win against Madhya Pradesh.
Rounding off the list of semifinals are Kerala jr women, Delhi and Tamil Nadu jr men. Kerala jr women beat Karnataka in a relatively low scoring match 65-45. However, in the course of securing this win, Kerala’s captain and current senior international Poojamol suffered a severe ligament sprain and a suspected fracture. It is unlikely that she will play in tomorrow’s semifinal.
Delhi jr boys held on to win against a surging Rajasthan side that made it to the quarterfinals all the way from the lower level (Level 2). This match was a battle between two rival international guards and captains: Narender Rathee for Delhi and Mahipal Singh for Rajasthan. Both these players lived upto their billing and led their respective sides in scoring. Narender had 29 while Mahipal scored 27.
In the last quarterfinal of the evening, the undefeated Tamil Nadu which was 4-0 from the league stages showed great mental fortitude to keep a buoyed Kerala homeside at bay. Battling a loud and partisan away crowd, TN is through to the semifinals with an 88-78 win.
Results from Day 6 (31/5/14)
Quarterfinal Matches from Level 1 (Elite level)
2) Rajasthan (Mahipal Singh 30, Akhilesh 25) bt Karnataka (Sowkin Shetty 18, Bushan S 12) Anmol B 15, 92-71 [25-18; 28-19; 18-18; 21-16]
2) Delhi (Soumya B 29, Varuni B 14, Jothi Rai 13, Nishita 13) bt Madhya Pradesh (Sakshi Pandey 38, Shivangi 11) 78-74 [12-24; 18-21; 21-14; 27-15]
Level 1 to Level 2 (Matches between bottom placed Level 1 teams who have been relegated to Level 2 for next year)
1) Chhattisgarh (A Kumar 19, R Shrivastav 11)bt Odisha (KS Kumar 6, SS Bemera 6) 57-29 [26-6; 22-7; 3-6; 6-10]
1) Tamil Nadu (Srividhya 19, Sharmila 18, Shinu 17) bt Rajasthan (Nisha 22, Jagruthi 13) 84-63 [29-17; 25-15; 9-18; 21-13]
Late Evening Results from Day 5 (30/5/14)
Level 1 League Matches
1) Kerala (Amal Anto 24, Antony 21) bt Chhattisgarh (Dinesh M 16, Shiv Kumar 14) 81-54 [12-10; 22-16; 15-12; 32-16]