New Delhi: The school and college teams from Ludhiana stayed undefeated by noon of Day 3 (17/12/2014), while Bengaluru teams registered their first wins in the tournament after a string of losses on the first day. Here are the detailed reports from Day 2 (evening) and Day 3 (morning) matches.
Afternoon matches on Day 2 (16 December 2014)
(Match reports compiled by Vishnu, Gopal and Kabir)
Game 19, Court no. 1: SKIT College, Jaipur v. Jhunjhunwala College, Mumbai
SKIT College, Jaipur and Jhunjhunwala College, Mumbai squared off against each other in a thrilling contest whose outcome was decided in the final minutes of the game. The first half was a different story though, as SKIT dominated Jhunjhunwala and captured a 17-point lead at halftime. Y. Singh was SKIT’s offensive catalyst. He had 19 points in the first half alone and ended the game with 27 points. Down 41-24 at halftime, the Mumbai team came out firing in the second half with hot shooting in the third quarter. Mumbai managed to create open shots with their ball movement and their shooters knocked down a majority of their attempts from beyond the arc. The fourth quarter saw a lot of lead changes as both teams went back and forth with their run-and-gun styles of play. But Jhunjhunwala was never really able to effectively counter the size advantage that SKIT had over them. SKIT created a lot of opportunities in the paint and overpowered Jhunjhunwala with their post moves on the inside. Jhunjhunwala was not able to recover from their poor first half and SKIT managed to hold on for the 4-point win.
SKIT College, Jaipur (Y. Singh 27) bt Jhunjhunwala College, Mumbai (Jatin Naik 20) 68-64 (20-14, 21-10, 8-23, 19-17)
Game 26 Court 2: Government College for Girls, Ludhiana vs Ramjas College, New Delhi
After losing their opening match yesterday against Rajasthan Women’s College, Ramjas College, New Delhi had an even tougher task at hand today against Government College for Girls, Ludhiana. GCG girls continued playing man to man defense and the first quarter also saw them get multiple ‘And 1’ opportunities.
If Ramjas College had to struggle in yesterday’s game against a taller Rajasthan team, then today, the challenge was to beat Ludhiana’s persistent full court press.
In the third quarter a Ludhiana player was taken out of the game with what appears to be a serious ankle injury, however, that didn’t affect the concentration of the remaining players who continued their high pressure defensive tactics that forced Ramjas into numerous turnovers and a much faster pace of game than they were comfortable with.
Government College for Girls, Ludhiana (Nirmal Kaur 14, Nagma Mirza 12) bt Ramjas College, New Delhi (Dhanushree 7) 53-11 [24-2, 11-7, 10-0, 8-2]
Game 20, Court no. 1: R.A. Podar College, Mumbai v. St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata
R.A. Podar College, Mumbai were clearly the better team when they faced St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata on Day 2 of the ICBL National Finals 2014 at Thyagaraj Stadium, New Delhi. The Mumbai college girls were a more cohesive unit as compared to the Kolkata team, who were not adequately prepared to face the level of play that the Mumbai team displayed. The game was close at the end of the first quarter with Kolkata down by just 3 points, but things went downhill from there. The fitter and faster Mumbai team smothered the Kolkata team on defense and created easy scoring opportunities on the offensive end. Tight defense from Mumbai forced 16 turnovers from the Kolkata team. On offense, Carina M. was the top scorer for Mumbai with 19 points on an efficient 8 of 13 from the field. She was the head of the defensive snake for Mumbai as well with 5 steals and 7 rebounds. St. Xavier’s evidently need to rethink their preparation strategy in order to compete at the national level at such tournaments. R.A. Podar pick up their second win of the tournament and look good to seal a berth in the semi-finals.
R.A. Podar College, Mumbai (Carina M. 19, Renu Jain 9, Charmi Bhagat 9) bt St. Xavier’s, Kolkata (Sangeeta Singh 10, Jasmeen Rao 10) 56-34 (11-8, 16-5, 17-9, 14-12)
Game 21, Court no. 1: Kirori Mal College, New Delhi v. St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata
Delhi’s best college team, Kirori Mal College squared off against Kolkata’s best, St. Xavier’s college, on Day 2 of the ICBL National Finals 2014. It was a disappointing day for St. Xavier’s as the men’s team were also comprehensively beaten following the drubbing the women’s team faced earlier in the day. Kirori Mal had a distinct rebounding advantage over St. Xavier’s – the Delhi team outrebounded Kolkata 33 to 16. This included 20 offensive rebounds by the Delhi team, which permitted the Delhi players to shoot at will. Despite having a field goal percentage of only 39% as compared to Kolkata’s 48%, the Delhi team relied on second chance opportunities to continuously attempt shots. Four of the Delhi players ended up scoring in double digits, with L. Pal leading the way with 17 points. Y. Dahiya put up a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds, including 7 offensive boards. Hometown favourites, Kirori Mal picked up their first victory of the tournament with a comprehensive 22-point margin.
Kirori Mal College, New Delhi (L. Pal 17, D. Rawat 14) bt St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata (S. Joshi 21, S. Jaiswal 13) 70-48 (31-18, 18-12, 11-9, 10-9)
Game 27 Court 2: Bhavan’s Vidya Mandir, Kochi vs La Martiniere, Kolkata
In one of the closest matches in the tournament so far, the team from Kolkata narrowly beat the team from Kochi. The score was neck and neck for most of the game with neither team being able to maintain a lead. Kolkata used the “stack” effectively during inbounds plays and this led them to some easy buckets. While the team from Kolkata had a balanced attack, majority of points from the Kochi team were scored by Reeshma who exploded for 35 points. She almost single-handedly beat the entire Kolkata defense on many occasions and despite getting injured in the fourth quarter, she fought through and came back late at the end of regulation to score two key baskets. However, this unidirectional offensive approach eventually cost the Kochi team as Kolkata totally focused their defense on Reeshma therefore nullifying the Kochi attack.
La Martiniere Kolkata (Priyanka 18, Charushi 19, Malbika 12) bt Bhavan’s Vidya Mandir, Kochi (Reeshma 35) 56-46 [8-13, 18-8, 17-11, 12-14]
Game 28 Court 2: Modern School, New Delhi vs La Martiniere, Kolkata
Making its debut in this year’s National Rounds, La Martiniere, Kolkata faced Modern School, New Delhi. Modern had lost a close high scoring opening encounter against Velammal School, Chennai. Hungry for its first win, Modern came fully prepared to specifically counter La Martiniere. The team from Kolkata is largely unchanged from last year and their lynchpin in gigantic centre Raghav Saigal who is currently on the West Bengal u-19 state team.
Double teaming Saigal from start to finish, Modern forced La Martiniere to run their offense through the remaining players who unfortunately couldn’t capitalise on the largesse. So complete was Modern School’s domination on both ends of the floor that La Martiniere only managed to open scoring late in the second quarter.
The Delhi team started the second half with their second unit and La Martiniere finally managed to get into an offensive rhythm. But this was one of those games where the result was decided in the first half itself. Unfortunately, late in the second half, play had to be suspended briefly as tempers flared. When play resumed, Modern continued its clinical performance on both ends of the floor
Modern School, New Delhi (Kushagar 24, Himanshu 14) bt La Martiniere, Kolkata (Raghav Saigal 15, Adam Redden 10) 84-34 [29-0, 16-7, 12-11, 27-16]
Matches held up to 12.00 pm on Day 3 (17 December 2014)
Game 29, Court no. 1: St. Joseph’s College, Bengaluru v. Ramjas College, New Delhi
St. Joseph’s College, Bengaluru picked up that illusive first win of the tournament by defeating Ramjas College, New Delhi. This was a largely inconsequential game as both teams have been all but knocked out of the tournament. After two losses on the first two days, Bengaluru were hungry for a victory and that clearly showed in today’s game. St. Joseph’s faced little competition from the heavily undersized team from Ramjas College, who seemed like a team filled with only perimeter players. Ramjas found it difficult to penetrate due to the length of Bengaluru’s rim protectors. Aishwarya and Sharika, Bengaluru’s post players, made merry on the inside on offense and ended up scoring 20 of the team’s 36 points. Delhi’s best college team in the women’s category, Ramjas College, have a lot of questions to answer as they remain winless thus far in the tournament.
St. Joseph’s College, Bengaluru (Aishwarya 12) bt Ramjas College, New Delhi (Jyoti 10) 36-23 (8-7, 16-5, 6-6, 6-5)
Game 30, Court no. 1: Surana College, Bengaluru v. Jhunjhunwala College, Mumbai
The Bengaluru college teams had a good outing on the morning of Day 3 of the ICBL National Finals 2014. Following the women’s team victory earlier in the day, the men’s team from Surana College made easy work of the team from Jhunjhunwala College, Mumbai. They say that size is not everything in basketball, but size was the major factor that decided the outcome in this game. The average height of the Bengaluru team was significantly greater that the Mumbai men. This resulted in Surana College outrebounding Jhunjhunwala 35 to 14 in total team rebounds. The Bengaluru men managed to score at will with an impressive 57% field goal percentage as compared to Mumbai’s 27%. Five players from Surana College scored in double digits with Renukaradhya leading the way with a double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds. Jhunjhunwala were unable to create adequate space for their shots as Surana College managed to close-in and contest and alter a majority of the shots put up by the Mumbai team. Surana kept piling up the points and the game quickly turned into a blowout win.
Surana College, Bengaluru (Renukaradhya A.P. 17, Sarath V. 17) bt Jhunjhunwala College, Mumbai (Chauhan S. 14) 75-34 (19-11, 14-6, 21-10, 21-7)
Game 37, Court 2: St Edmunds, Jaipur vs Bhavan’s Prominent, Indore
St Edmunds Jaipur and Bhavan’s Prominent, Indore locked horns earlier this morning in a tense encounter. With relatively shorter players on both sides, the tempo of the game was decidedly faster with teams attacking the basket within seconds of entering the front court. At the end of the first and second quarters, Jaipur led 21-16 and 37-31 only to see Indore fight back to level the scores at 49 each by the end of the third quarter.
Jaipur’s hefty centre Rambir was leading from the front with 35 big points, many from inside the paint at a high 70% field goal percentage. However, his solo effort couldn’t match the double digit scoring of his opponents Narendra (31 pts, 13 assists and 4 steals), Mayank (19 pts) and Manoj (16 pts). Indore wrested back the lead midway into the fourth quarter and went on a tear in the final few minutes to close out the 78-65 win.
Bhavan’s Prominent, Indore (Narendra 31, Mayank 19, Manoj 16) bt St Edmunds, Jaipur (Rambir 35, Ramti 11) 78-65 [16-21, 31-37, 49-49, 78-65]
Game 36, Court 2: Sr Nav Bharti School, Ludhiana vs Bishop Cotton Boys School, Bengaluru
In a game of two halves, defending champions Sr Nav Bharti School Ludhiana continued their dominating run in this year’s school boys division. Bishop Cotton Boys showed what they are capable of in terms of skill, but Ludhiana’s incredible athleticism meant that the Bengaluru boys couldn’t sustain their level of play from the first quarter. Interestingly both teams played zone defense with differing degrees of success.
By second half, Sr Nav Bharti was able to break free repeatedly for easy transition buckets and extend its already sizeable lead. Defensively, Nav Bharti continued to maintain their intensity, even stepping up a notch by employing the full court press that broke Bishop Cotton’s resolve. Sr Nav Bharti has established itself as the overwhelming favourites to repeat their title run from last year. On Bishop Cotton’s part, this quality team will have to work on its strength and conditioning over the next few seasons to match their opponent’s physical prowess.
Sr Nav Bharti School Ludhiana bt Bishop Cotton Boys School, Bengaluru 97-50 [26-12, 17-16, 29-14, 25-8]