Kochi, 2nd June 2014: Defending champions Chhattisgarh girls have successfully reclaimed the title in this year’s finale of the 65th National Basketball Championship for Junior (u-18) Men and Women 2014. In the junior men’s section, last year’s runners up Punjab went one better to clinch the boys title. What made this win even sweeter for Punjab was that they beat current title holders Delhi in the finals, whom they had lost to in the previous edition.
The Punjab side has shown an unbelievable turnaround in this championship after losing two league matches to Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. In the semifinals, Punjab extracted revenge by beating Tamil Nadu by a margin of almost 30 points largely on the back of a suffocating half court defense. Tonight, too, their interior defense denied Delhi easy points in the paint and on the offensive end, Punjab showed a lot of flair and creativity with acrobatic dunks and impossible fadeaway threes. For Punjab, Arshpreet and Anmol top scored with 21 and 16 points respectively. In the end, their star international centre and captain Gurvinder Singh Gill’s early foul trouble (he had four fouls in the first quarter) made no difference to the outcome, as the deep Punjab bench laudably stepped up to the occasion. For Delhi, guard Sunil was the lone warrior with 25 hard earned points.
Chhattisgarh girls displayed their now characteristic outside shooting prowess and composure in the face of a hostile away crowd that was rooting for its home team Kerala. After trailing 17-22 in the first quarter, Chhattisgarh’s offense settled into an excellent rhythm and they steadily built a lead through the remaining three quarters to win by a final margin of 79-66. Kerala sorely missed senior international Poojamol who was unable to play the knockouts because of a leg injury sustained earlier in the league rounds. Saranjeet Kaur and Riya Verma topscored for Chhattisgarh with 28 and 24 points each and the hotshooting team in total connected on as many as ten threes. “This is our third straight junior national championship win in the last three years and our 10th win in the last 14 years,” said Chhattisgarh Head Coach Rajesh Patel after the win. Kerala has now fallen to Chhattisgarh twice in the last two finals.
The two winning teams Punjab jr men and Chhattisgarh jr women received trophies, individual medals and a cash prize of Rs 1,00,000/- each. Chhattisgarh’s Saranjeet Kaur and Arshpreet Singh were declared the Most Valuable Players in the junior women and men’s sections respectively and received a trophy and a cash prize of Rs 15,000/- each. Runners up Kerala girls and Delhi boys were awarded a cash prize of Rs 75,000 apart from trophies and individual medals.
Tamil Nadu boys and Uttar Pradesh girls finish third
Earlier this morning, Tamil Nadu boys and Uttar Pradesh girls finished third by beating Maharashtra and Punjab respectively. They each received trophies, individual medals and a cash prize of Rs 50,000/-. Ms Roopam Harish Sharma, CEO-BFI was the Chief Guest of the occasion.
Final Day Results (2/6/14)
THIRD PLACE MATCHES
|1) Punjab||1) Chhattisgarh|
|2) Delhi||2) Kerala|
|3) Tamil Nadu||3) Uttar Pradesh|
|4) Maharashtra||4) Punjab|
|5) Madhya Pradesh||5) Karnataka|
|6) Kerala||6) Maharashtra|
|7) Haryana||7) Haryana|
|8) Rajasthan||8) Delhi|
|9) Karnataka||9) Madhya Pradesh|
|10) Andhra Pradesh||10) West Bengal|