Mumbai, January 14: Maharashtra went down fighting to Bhavnagar Youngsters from Gujarat 69-73 in a tight and closely fought men’s Group-B league match of the Rs 5 lakh prize fund 10th Savio Cup All-India Basketball Tournament for men and women, sponsored by United Phosphorous and co-sponsored by Tridhaatu Realty Infra, at the Don Bosco High School basketball court, Matunga, on Wednesday evening. The defeat ended Maharashtra’s run in the tournament.
In an evenly balanced match of fluctuating fortunes, during which the lead changed hands repeatedly, Bhavnagar trailed by six points (46-52) at the end of the third quarter. However, Bhavnagar produced a strong performance in the fourth quarter, scoring a high 27 points during this period to clinch a thrilling victory, their second in this group and book their berth in the last four round. Bhavnagar Youngsters had earlier defeated Punjab in their opening match.
Maharashtra, who had also beaten Punjab, required a win to qualify for the semis and had their chances, but missed quite a number of easy lay-ups, which proved costly in the end.
Earlier, National champions Chhattisgarh maintained their superb winning momentum to register their second successive victory, scoring an impressive 72-45 win against Punjab in a women’s league match. Once again Saranjeet Kaur played a key role, chipping in with 18 points to seal Chhattisgarh’s win. Playing a good supporting was Pushpa Kindo who contributed 12 points. For Punjab the top scorer was Kirandeep Kaur with 19 points.
The Chhattisgarh girls, who had defeated Maharashtra 66-64 in a closely fought encounter late on Tuesday evening, are now virtually assured of a place in Sunday’s final. They take on defending champions Southern Railway in the concluding league match. Punjab having lost all their three games are out of the competition.
Meanwhile Indian Overseas Bank (IOB), Chennai outplayed Services 84-41 after enjoying a 49-32 half-time lead in a Group-A league match played under lights late on Tuesday evening. By virtue of this, their second win IOB, who had earlier defeated Services 71-46, are through to the semi-finals from this group.