[Gopalakrishnan R & Vishnu Ravi Shankar] Bhilwara, Rajasthan: In a Senior National classic for the ages, Delhi women got the better of the Maharashtra team in an overtime thriller. Barely a few inches separated these two teams. Four quarters were not enough to find a winner as the match went into overtime. A flurry of late three pointers by Delhi’s young star Preeti Kumari, who also represented the senior Indian women’s team at the Lusofonia Games in Goa a year ago, sent the game into overtime. In overtime, a few costly turnovers by Maharashtra meant that Delhi sneaked past them by just one point to go through to the semis.
Chhattisgarh women faced Tamil Nadu in their quarterfinal clash. Chhattisgarh women’s defence, led by their 6ft 9 inch centre Poonam Chaturvedi, clamped down on Tamil Nadu to win 98-62. Poonam Chaturvedi was the key difference between the two teams as she had a huge double-double in the game with 26 points and 20 rebounds. Chhattisgarh’s guards Sharanjeet Kaur and Sangeeta K were instrumental in finding their teammates for open shots and ended up with a combined total of 12 assists. The defending champions are now through to the semi-finals of the tournament where they will face the formidable Indian Railways women’s team.
Strong contenders in the women’s category, Kerala registered a comfortable victory against the upstart Telengana women’s team, who made their way to the quarterfinals after their pre-quarterfinal victory against Punjab earlier in the day. The visibly fatigued Telengana team were outrun by the Kerala women, who showcased their fitness and skills in this game. Kerala were led by a balanced scoring attack with starters Neenumol, Jeena and Stephy putting up 12 points each. Kerala won the one-sided affair 58-27.
In the men’s section, Tamil Nadu nipped in the bud any hopes that Karnataka harboured of continuing its run in this championship. Tamil Nadu’s forwards did a great job of restricting Karnataka’s star centre Aravind A in the paint. Tamil Nadu’s A. Arvind and Amjyot Singh manned the paint on defense and were stellar on offense, helping Tamil Nadu to 56 points in the paint. The Tamil Nadu team also enjoyed a sizeable rebounding advantage over their opponents, who were outrebounded 44 to 26. The game quickly turned into a blowout as Tamil Nadu won with a 36-point margin, 98-62.
The other men’s quarterfinal held thus far was the upset of the day, as Haryana surprised the basketball community with a victory over Punjab in a closely contested match that saw 15 lead changes. Despite being heavily undersized, Haryana stuck to their strengths and were tenacious defensively against the Punjab men. Satnam Singh was consistent as usual with 27 points and 22 rebounds. However, the rest of his teammates had a bad shooting day as they were unable to connect on their outside jumpers. On the other hand, Haryana shot 36% from beyond the 3-point line and were knocking down their shots at crucial intervals. All five of Haryana’s players on the floor were a threat from the 3-point line, which spread the floor for them on offense. Punjab’s defense was woeful for most of the contest, as they were unable to close-out on Haryana’s shooters. Haryana’s Vikas K put up a double-double with 19 points and 13 rebounds and Himanshu S had 16 points and 5 assists.
In the final three quarterfinal games, the favoured Indian Railways women, Services and Uttarakhand men had easy outings against Karnataka, Indian Railways and Kerala respectively.
Results from 3-1-2015
Level 1 Quarterfinals
- Delhi (Raspreet Sidhu 22 pts & 12 rbs, Preeti Kumari 15 pts & 10 rbs) bt Maharashtra (Manisha Dange 21, Sruthi Menon 20) 77-75 [12-22, 19-17, 14-19, 21-8, 11-9 (OT)]
- Chhattisgarh (Poonam Chaturvedi 26 pts & 20 rbs, L Deepa 20, Sharanjeet Kaur 16) bt Tamil Nadu (M Adhirai 20, V Srividya 15, R Ramya 12) 75-64 [25-12, 16-20, 20-18, 14-14]
- Kerala (Stephy Nixon 12, Neenumol PS 12, Jeena PS 12) bt Telengana (Gayathri M. 9, Jincy J. 8) 58-27 [18-8, 20-6, 11-11, 9-2]
- Indian Railways (Anju Lakra 18, Sitamani Tudu 12, Smruthi Radhakrishnan 11) bt Karnataka (Savitha LS 14, Sandhya Manjunath 6) 74-33 [30-8, 13-6, 15-14, 16-5]
- Tamil Nadu (A Arvind 26, Amjyot Singh 22 pts & 17 rbs, Pratham Singh 17) bt Karnataka (Anil Kumar 17, Visu Palani 12, Yashas R 11) 98-62 [29-20, 29-13, 17-13, 23-17]
- Haryana (Vikash Kumar 19 pts & 13 rbs, Himanshu Sharma 16, Pardeep Kumar 11) bt Punjab (Satnam Singh 27 pts & 22 rbs, Palpreet Singh 12 pts & 10 rbs)74-70 [17-16, 21-19, 16-18, 20-17]
- Services (Narender Kumar Grewal 19, Ramesh Kumar 19, Jairam Jat 14, Dalip Kumar 11) bt Railways (Harmandeep Singh 13, Kamran Khan 11, Hirender Singh 10) 97-62 [26-14, 25-12, 23-14, 23-22]
- Uttarakhand (Amrit Pal Singh 22, Trideep Rai 21, Vishesh Bhriuguvanshi 19) bt Kerala (Basil Philip 15, Subash Shenoy 10) 89-51 [25-15, 29-19, 21-12, 14-5]
Level 1 Pre-quarterfinals
- Telangana (Purnima 13, Suganya 11) bt Punjab (Samriti 16, Kirandeep 7) 46-31 [22-10, 14-9, 5-10, 5-2]
- Karnataka (Svitha 22, Bhandavya 21) bt Madhya Pradesh (Monika 10, Nima Doma 9) 81-42 [23-15, 17-6, 27-6, 14-15]
- Indian Railways (Prakash Mishra 33, Hirender 10) bt Delhi (Ajay Singh 17, Parvin 14) 72-64 [20-19, 23-6, 18-18, 11-21]
- Kerala (Monish Wilson 24, Albin Baby 10) bt Telangana (LS Reddy 15, MV Kumar 11) 82-45 [28-12, 18-13, 23-11, 15-9]
Level 1 to Level 2
- Uttar Pradesh (Sakshi 11, Niharika 7) bt Andhra Pradesh (E Jyothi 10, AS Kumari 10) 46-38 [8-14, 6-10, 13-4, 19-10]
- Chhattisgarh (Ajay Pratap 23, Kiran Pal 21) bt Rajasthan (Vinod Mewari 28, Niraj Kala 18) 79-77 [15-24, 24-15, 17-16, 23-22]
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.