Karnataka's star player Arvind with a reverse dunk against Rajasthan

Karnataka’s star player Arvind with a reverse dunk against Rajasthan

[Gopalakrishnan R & Vishnu Ravi Shankar] Bhilwara, Rajasthan: After losing their opening encounter against the star studded Uttarakhand (ONGC) side yesterday, Tamil Nadu men bounced back with a statement 92-62 win over Indian Railways. The Tamil Nadu outfit saw multiple players in double digits in this balanced attack that netted them nearly 100 points. International guard Prakash Mishra found himself to be the lone warrior for the Railways, but his 19 points couldn’t prevent the 30 point drubbing at the hands of the defending men’s champions.

Finally playing to their potential, Kerala women surprised defending champions Chhattisgarh winning a tense game 68-65. The Kerala women’s starting five featured four international players Stephy Nixon (centre), Poojamol KS (forward), Jeena PS (forward) and Neenumol (small forward). Kerala’s excellent defense in the first half restricted Chhattisgarh to just 10 points in the second quarter, and combined with their steady scoring had them leading by nearly 20 points going into second half. 6ft 10 inch Chhattisgarh centre Poonam Chaturvedi was mostly ineffective thanks to the terrific man marking and boxing out by rival centre, Stephy Nixon.

Poojamol KS of Kerala at the freethrow line against Chhattisgarh.

Poojamol KS of Kerala makes a clutch freethrow against Chhattisgarh that took her side to a 68-65 win.

But true to its style, the never-say-die Chhattisgarh outfit fought back in the second half, thanks mostly to the outside shooting of Sharanjeet that including a three pointer with less than a minute remaining that tied the game at 65-65. Luckily for Kerala, teen sensation Poojamol drove the baseline and converted the two pointer despite getting fouled to take Kerala back in the clear by two points. Poojamol would calmly convert from the foulline to carry her side to its second straight victory.

Hosts Rajasthan teams fell to their second straight defeats. While the women lost to Odisha in the lower Level match, the men suffered a moral sapping loss to a young and resurgent Karnataka outfit. Rajasthan men were neck and neck for most of the match until the final few minutes, where Karnataka ran away to a 14 point win. This year’s Karnataka team bears a markedly younger and more athletic look having opted for youth over experience. The strategy seems to be working fine for Karnataka as they raced away to this back to back win. Karnakata centre Arvind in particular has been the star performer with numerous in game dunks that underlines his position as one of the most athletic basketballers in the nation. In this match he had 29 points to go with his 14 rebounds.

Hosts Rajasthan teams falter, Railways women and Services men post easy wins

Telangana (orange) vs Rajasthan women (in white).

Telangana (orange) vs Rajasthan women (in white).

Hosts Rajasthan women fell meekly to Telangana in a Level 2 (lower pool) game late last evening. Playing on the indoor court, Rajasthan were contained to just four points in the third quarter. Telangana women enjoyed a height advantage in this game which they exploited to the fullest with numerous transition opportunities in the 71-44 win.

In Level 1 matches, last year’s runners up and perennial favourites Indian Railways women started on the right note with a dominating 80-54 win over Delhi. The Delhi side featured the international sister trio of point guard Akanksha Singh, and guards Prashanti Singh and Pratima Singh, but they were no match for the international stars in the Railway side. Led by centre Rajapriyadarshini’s 22 points, Railways were off to a flyer and led 26-6 at the end of the first quarter. Delhi managed to outscore Railways in the second period, but Railways’ consistent scoring kept it well ahead.

Veteran India point guard Sambhaji Kadam in action for Services against Rajasthan.

Veteran India point guard Sambhaji Kadam in action for Services against Rajasthan.

Services men handed Rajasthan its second defeat of the day. International guard Narender Grewal was unstoppable with his 37 point effort. Much to the delight of basketball purists, veteran India floor general Sambhaji Kadam returned to the court after an absence of nearly a year when he injured himself at the Lusofonia International Games in Goa.

Gurkirpal Singh of Punjab lays the ball in transition against Kerala men.

Gurkirpal Singh of Punjab lays the ball in transition against Kerala men.

Punjab teams too underlined their supremacy with confident wins over Kerala and Uttar Pradesh in the men’s and women’s section respectively. Punjab’s towering frontcourt of internationals Palpreet Singh, Satnam Singh and Gurwinder Gill proved too big and strong for Kerala, which fell to its second straight defeat.

Afternoon & Early Evening Results from 30-12-2014

Level 1

Men

Women

Level 2

Women

  • Odisha (Jayashree 16, Namrata 14, Roli 13, Urbasi 10) bt Rajasthan (Anita Meena 14, Nisa Sharma 27) 62-58 [22-9, 12-15, 11-14, 17-20]
  • Telangana (M Gayathri 17, Purnima M 14, Aishwarya 13) bt Assam (Annat George 15, Shilpi Gehlot 8, Anju Sidharthan 8) 59-40 [16-8, 22-8, 8-10, 13-14]
  • Bihar (Priyanka 16, GS Sharwani 14) bt Uttarakhand (Siwani 12) 55-33 [11-11, 21-7, 6-7, 17-8]
  • West Bengal (S Devi 16, P Kumari 9) bt Gujarat (Fatema Masvi 8) 50-20 [35-2, 6-6, 5-5, 6-7]

Men

  • Jammu & Kashmir (Shubham Sharma 19, Iqbal Singh 17) bt Goa (Anjul Punia 7, Brendon Mascarenhas) 63-23 [25-7, 17-2, 6-8, 15-6]
  • Maharashtra (Amit Gholot 25, R Kalbhor 23) bt Assam ( P Kumar 23, Pankaj Rathee 12) 79-59 [22-18, 18-13, 14-19, 25-9]
  • Madhya Pradesh (HS Tomar 17, A Banigiri 16, Syed A Ali 10) bt Odisha (Sashi 11, Ashok 10) 66-59 [16-15, 9-17, 22-7, 19-20]
  • Bihar (Manvendra 15, Yogesh Kumar 14) bt Puducherry (Prabhakar 30, Harikrishna 8) 46-41 [3-12, 9-9, 14-10, 20-10]

Morning Results from 30-12-2014

Level 1

Men

Women

Level 2

Women

  • Himachal Pradesh (Balvinder Kaur 14, Jyotika 7) bt Jammu & Kashmir (Rashmi 6, Ayuved 5, Aman 5) 42-18 [22-2, 9-5, 6-9]
  • Madhya Pradesh (Madhu 15, Sakshi 12, Monika 8) bt Haryana (Surya 10, Sandhya 6) 59-27 [15-4, 28-16, 10-4, 6-3]

Men

  • Gujarat (V Kaushik 17, Dishant Shah 16, H Vaghela 16) bt West Bengal (S Joshi 26, DK Shaw 14) 78-58 [13-23, 23-9, 19-6, 23-20]

Evening Results from 29-12-2014

Level 1

Women

  • Indian Railways (R Rajapriyadarshini 22, Sitamani 22, Apoorva 14) bt New Delhi (Prashanti 19, Pratima 10) 80-54 [26-6, 15-18, 20-15, 19-15]

Men

Level 2

Women

  • Telangana (M Gayathri 22) bt Rajasthan (Anita M 20) 71-44 [27-17, 15-12, 23-4, 6-11]
  • Uttarakhand (Radhika 4, Kanu Priya 4, Ayushi 4) bt Jammu & Kashmir (Siwant Nautiyal 11, Sarah Khanna 11) 32-18 [3-6, 8-4, 14-2, 7-6]
  • West Bengal (Salma Devi 13, P Dutta 12, Versa Verma 10) bt Goa (Rose Rhea 7, Shaheen 4) 44-15 [21-1, 11-4, 4-2, 8-8]

Men

  • Jharkhand (Devendra 23, Nirmal 14) bt Puducherry (R Harikrishna 20, A Prabhakar 13)72-52 [16-16, 18-6, 18-17, 20-13]
  • Andhra Pradesh (Yogesh 16, V Reddy 11) bt Jammu & Kashmir (Shalender 16, Iqbal Singh 14) 56-54 [12-11, 19-14, 6-13, 19-16]
  • Telangana (S Ganesh 21, Nama 10) bt Goa (Malivai 10, Abhinav 8) 70-37 [24-10, 16-9, 12-7, 18-11]
  • Gujarat (Vinay 21, Dishant 12) bt Himachal Pradesh (Deepak 10, Jhender 10) 71-37 [23-15, 20-10, 9-3, 19-9]
  • Delhi (Pravin Dovan 22, Ajay Singh 18, Pulkit Sachdeva 12) bt Uttar Pradesh (Ashutosh Kumar 15, Rakesh Kumar 11) 79-68 [21-22, 20-11, 20-19, 18-16]

About the 65th Senior National Basketball Championship 2014

The 65th Senior National Basketball Championship 2014 is being held in Bhilwara, Rajasthan. The Championship is being organised by the Bhilwara District Basketball Association in collaboration with the Rajasthan State Basketball Association under the aegis of Basketball Federation of India and IMG-Reliance. Matches are being held at the Sukhodia Indoor Stadium and the two outdoor courts at the Nagar Parishad complex. 27 men’s teams and 24 women’s teams are participating in this event that will be played in a league-cum-knockout format. For this year’s edition, Tamil Nadu men and Chhattisgarh women are the defending champions.

The teams have been divided into two levels: the upper Level 1 and lower level 2. Level 1 teams have further been split into two groups (A and B) while Level 2 teams have been split into four groups. The top four teams from each Level 1 group and the top team from each of the four Level 2 groups will qualify for the knockout stages. A separate knockout tournament (called “Losers Knockouts”) will also be held for the 2nd and 3rd placed teams from each of the four lower level groups that will be knocked out of the main tournament.