Indian College Basketball League and Indian School Basketball League champions (clockwise from top left): Sathyabama University, Chennai men; Government College Ludhiana women, Government Girls School, Ludhiana girls and Velammal School, Chennai boys.

Indian College Basketball League and Indian School Basketball League champions (clockwise from top left): Sathyabama University, Chennai men; Government College Ludhiana women, Velammal School Chennai Boys and Government Girls School Ludhiana.

School Girls’ Final – Government School for Girls, Ludhiana v. Santhome School, Chennai

The girls’ Final of the Indian School Basketball League had no apparent favourites with both teams not having dropped a single game in the tournament. Ludhiana had used their aggressive full court press to devastating affect and even reached the triple digit mark in the semi-final. Ludhiana’s offense was spearheaded by international player Gaganpreet and Karanjeet. On the other hand, Chennai played the game at a slow pace beating opponents with sheer ball movement and solid teamwork. Due to this Chennai’s top scorers fluctuated from match to match.

The game started out with Chennai racing to an early lead, easily beating Ludhiana’s full court press with effective rotation and ball handling. But Ludhiana made a run late in the first quarter to secure a 3-point lead with scores at 23-20. Second quarters have consistently been Ludhiana’s strongest quarter and today was no different. Their full court press kicked into gear and even though Chennai did a good job of avoiding too many turnovers, they were still forced into playing at a fast pace which they clearly were not comfortable at playing. This resulted in Chennai taking rushed and ill-advised shots and Ludhiana capitalized by throwing crisp outlet passes for easy fastbreak opportunities. This momentum catapulted Ludhiana through the third quarter leading throughout with double digits. Chennai kept it close but ran out of steam in the fourth quarter succumbing to a 12-point loss.

Kiranjit Kaur from Ludhiana was awarded the Most Valuable Player in this division. Gagandeep Kaur from Ludhiana received the Best Defender award, while Ria Sharon from Santhome School, Chennai from Rajasthan College received the Rising Star award.

Government School for Girls, Ludhiana (Somi K. M.  16 pts, Karanjeet 16 pts) bt. Santhome School, Chennai (Merlin M. 12 pts) 92-80 (23-20, 24-17, 17-14, 28-29)

School Boys’ Final – Modern School, Delhi v. Velammal School, Chennai

After Ludhiana withdrew, Delhi who fell to them in the semis would take their place in the final. Chennai had already beaten Delhi in the group stages and were favourites to win again in the final. However, Delhi started off with an inspired performance, relentlessly driving in and finding open teammates at the hoop. They were also defending exceptionally well, not allowing Chennai to use their strengths – Driving-in and Offensive Rebounding. Chennai still kept it close at the end of the first quarter trailing by just 1 point. Delhi pushed their momentum into the second quarter with Chennai at their heels making for an entertaining back-and-forth match. Delhi led by 2 points at the half and looked poised in the driver’s seat with Chennai appearing rather surprised at this explosion by their opponent. Delhi carried the surge forward with a strong third quarter despite Chennai recovering and cutting the lead to 2 points, score being 66-64. It was in the fourth quarter however that a wild series of events unfolded. Delhi jumped ahead to push the lead to double digits seemingly sealing the win but youth national MVP Baladhaneshwar of Chennai had other ideas. With his team struggling on the offensive end, Bala decided it was time to take over the game. He scored 14 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter alone trimming the lead to 3 points. He then got the ball on a fastbreak opportunity and hung in the air to convert an ‘and-1’ floater which electrified the crowd. He however missed the free-throw that would have tied the game. Delhi got fouled on the next play but failed to convert on both the free throws. Bala drove to the hoop again but lost the ball, however, he did not give up on the play and sprinted back and in a Jordan-esque manner, snatched the ball away from a Delhi player and scored an amazing layup giving Chennai their first lead of the fourth quarter with just over a minute left in regulation. Delhi again got fouled but still could not convert any of the free-throws. These missed free-throws eventually cost them the game as Bala scored again putting the nail in the coffin by giving his team a 3-point lead. Delhi had an opportunity to tie the game with a 3-pointer but the shot by captain Himanshu was blocked. In the most entertaining match of the tournament, Chennai came out on top in a neck-and-neck match worthy of a final.

Vellamal School’s P. Baladaneshwar was awarded the Most Valuable Player in this division. Surya from Vellamal School received the Best Defender award, while Prabhav Bahuguna from Modern School, Delhi received the Rising Star award.

College Women’s Final – Rajasthan College, Jaipur v. Government College for Girls, Ludhiana

Rajasthan College, Jaipur entered this game after an upset victory over defending champions MOP Vaishnav, Chennai in the semi-finals yesterday. Today, they faced Government College for Girls, Ludhiana for the second time in this tournament. Rajasthan College had lost their league encounter against these opponents and were looking to exact revenge this time around. However, Ludhiana raced to a 17-3 lead in the first quarter. Rajasthan College were surprisingly lax on the defensive end and offensively, kept forcing outside shots against the run of play. Manisha and Anita, especially, were guilty of trying to take over the game on their own, rather than create for their teammates. On the other end, the unbeaten Ludhiana team continued to be unstoppable. Captain Nagma Mirza led from the front by connecting repeating from downtown. She was ably assisted by Nirmal Kaur, who complemented Nagma with numerous layups and points in the paint. Nirmal Kaur ended the match with a game-high 26 points. In the second half, Jaswant, the captain of Jaipur took over the offensive load for her side, but failed to convert many baskets despite having good looks at the basket. In the end, Ludhiana had too many weapons and ran away with the game.

Nagma Mirza was awarded the Most Valuable Player in this division. Kirandeep Kaur received the Best Defender award, while Anita from Rajasthan College received the Rising Star award.

Government College for Girls, Ludhiana (Nirmal Kaur 26 pts, Nagma Mirza 15 pts, Kirandeep 13 pts) bt Rajasthan College, Jaipur (Manisha 13 pts, Anita 11 pts) 65-40 (17-3, 16-9, 17-18, 15-10)

College Men’s Final – Satyabhama Engineering College, Chennai v. Kirorimal College, New Delhi

The two best college men’s basketball teams of the country from Chennai and New Delhi clashed in the finals of the 2014 Indian College Basketball League. Satyabhama Engineering College, Chennai had already beaten Kirorimal College, New Delhi in the league stages by a margin of 15 points. Entering this game, Kirorimal College were the underdogs and were facing an uphill task against the formidable Chennai team. The match began with Satyabhama off to a scorching start with a 25-7 first quarter lead. Chennai’s point guard, Mandeep, was running the offense beautifully and guard, Arun Prashanth, ably supported him. Kirorimal College was low on energy in the first quarter and Chennai exploited that with easy fast break buckets. It looked like a rout before Kirorimal College made a valiant comeback. Led by Yudhvir Dahiya and captain Lalit Pal, Kirorimal slowly eat into Chennai’s lead in the second and third quarters. The Delhi men outscored Satyabhama 49-30 in the middle quarters to stay within striking distance of the Chennai team. Quickly into the fourth quarter, Kirorimal latched onto a slender one-point lead. There were continuous lead changes for a few minutes in the fourth quarter, until Satyabhama kicked into another gear by introducing Rakesh and Mandeep back into the line-up. The duo had sat out in the middle quarters owing to foul trouble. With under a minute to go in the game and with Chennai having a 3-point lead, Kirorimal College captain Lalit Pal caused a costly turnover with a double-dribble. The turnover gave Chennai possession with around 30 seconds to go in the game. Satyabhama held on to the lead, knocked down some clutch free throws and sealed the game with a 6-point victory.

Mandeep from Satyabhama Engineering College was awarded the Most Valuable Player in this division. H. Muinbek received the Best Defender award, while Yudhvir Dahiya from Kirorimal College, New Delhi received the Rising Star award.

Satyabhama Engineering College, Chennai (B. Arun Prashanth 30 pts, H Muinbek 17 pts 10 reb, Mandeep M 16 pts, 5 assists) Kirorimal College, New Delhi (Yudhvir Dahiya 23 pts, 19 rbs, Lalit Pal 22 pts, Pulkit Sachdeva 10 pts, 11 rbs) 77-71 (25-7, 19-26, 11-23, 22-15)

Prize money

All winning teams were awarded INR 4,50,000 each towards court refurbishment purposes. The second place teams received INR 75,000, while the third place finishers received INR 50,000.