Babykutty: Defending champion Thiruvananthapuram retained the women’s title as they beat runners up Palakkad women 58-47, while in an exciting men’s final Ernakulum scraped past Thiruvananthapuram 69-62 in the 59th Kerala State Senior Basketball Championship at the Carmel Club basketball courts in Aluwa.
The women’s final was in fact played between the only two professional sides of Kerala: Thiruvananthapuram represented by Kerala State Electricity Board, with two current senior internationals Jeena PS and Stephy Nixon, and Palakkad represented by the Kerala Police outfit having international Neenumol. The match was evenly contested till the first quarter, but Thiruvananthapuram slowly took the upper hand in the 2nd quarter for a 47-24 lead at halftime before winning the match at 58-47. For Thiruvananthapuram, International Jeena P S was again the top scorer with 22 points followed by the young Grima Merlin Varghese who came on as a substitute and contributed with 21 points. For Palakkad, Neenumol came as the top scorer with 16 and Surya PR with 12.
The men’s match was indeed an exciting affair which the jam-packed stadium enjoyed to the fullest. The young Thiruvananthapuram side took an early lead of 38-31 but the experienced Ernakulum with former internationals Basil Philip, Eudrick Pereira, Monish Wilson and Manoj R came back strongly in the final quarter to win 69-62. For Ernakulum, Shinumon was the top scorer with 18 points and Monish Wilson came up with 16. For Thiruvananthapuram it was a scintillating performance from Arjun G K. The lad from Mar Baselios College was the topscorer with 18 points followed by Ajeeth Sugunan with 17 and Umesh Krishnan making 15.
Adding colour to the championship was the presence of Arjuna Award winner Tom Joseph who distributed the trophies and mementos.
Bronze for Kollam Men and Thrissur Women
Kollam men defeated Palakkad 58-38 while Thrissur women beat Ernakulum 48-29 to secure the bronze.
P S Viswappan Gold Medal for Jeena PS and Umesh Krishnan
Jeena PS and Umesh Krishnan of Thiruvananthapuram grabbed the best player award instituted by PS Viswappan foundation’s late PS Viswappan, who was a former international coach and referee.
P Paremeswaran Pillai Memorial Most Promising Player award
Grima Merlin Varghese of Thiruvananthapuram and Nikhil KR from Ernakulum grabbed the cash award instituted in the memory of P Parameswaran Pillai, the former Secretary and Treasurer of Basketball Federation of India.
P C Thomas Life Time Achievement Award 2014 for PP Varghese
The Life Time Achievement award (a Gold coin) by the Kerala Basketball Association for the year 2014 instituted in memory of Shri PC Thomas (former Coach, International Referee and Technical Officer of Kerala State Sports Council) was conferred Shri P P Varghese, Secretary of Kerala Basketball Association.
He started playing basketball in 1956 and was a regular member of Kunnamkulam YMCA from 1969 onwards. He also played for IGA Kunnamkulam and St Thomas College Thrissur with P J Sunny, who is the current Selection Committee Chairman of Basketball Federation of India. He was a regular member of Thrissur District team from 1961 onwards and represented Kerala State team in the year 1963 at the Cuttak Senior Nationals and also represented Kerala in South Zone Nationals. He also served as the Coach of Kerala Junior Boys team in 1974 at Delhi. In 1975 he got his appointment as a Cargo Supervisor in Dubai International Airport .
In 1996 he returned to Kerala and was elected as the Secretary of the Thrissur District Basketball Association in the year 1997 and continues till bow. In 2001, he was elected as the Chairman of the Technical Committee for 12 years and in 2013 elected unanimously as the Hon-Secretary.
- Thiruvananthapuram 58 (Jeena PS 23, Grima Merlin Varghese 16) bt Palakkad 47 (Neenumol PS 16, Surya PR 12)
- Ernakulum 69 (Shinumon Augustine 18, Monish Wilson 16, Eudrick Perera 14) bt Thiruvananthapuram 62 (Arjun G K 18, Umesh Krishnan 16, Ajeeth Sugunan 15)
3rd Place matches
- Thrissur 48 (Anu Thomas 14, Rojamol G 14) bt Ernakulum 29 (Chippy Mathew 11)
- Kollam 58 (Rahul Krishan 16, SS Deepu 16) bt Palakkad 38 (Shabu Kumar 16)