Bhavnagar Youngsters (in black and red) against IOB.

Bhavnagar Youngsters (in black and red) against IOB.

Mumbai, January 17: Indian Overseas Bank (IOB), Chennai struck top form after the break to overcome Bhavnagar Youngsters by a convincing 64-46 margin in a men’s semi-final 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, and played under floodlights at the Don Bosco High School basketball court, Matunga on Saturday evening.

Later in the evening, holder ONGC, Dehradun cruised to a fluent 75-49 win against Services in a lop-sided semi-final league encounter after racing to a 33-19 half-time lead. Amritpal Singh and consistent scorer Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, both contributed 17 each towards the team’s victory. For Services the leading scorers were Abhishek Y.P. with 16 points and  Jairam Jat with 9 points.

Both ONGC with three wins and IOB with two wins under their belt have qualified to meet in the final.

Earlier, the Chennai cagers received quite a challenge from the Gujarat side initially and finished the second quarter with a marginal 36-24 lead after leading 13-8 in the first quarter.

However, after the change of ends, IOB took total control over the proceedings as the Bhavnagar Youngsters started to make too many mistakes. Prasanna Venkatesh and A. Arvind, started to find the hoop with regular consistency, scoring 21 and 19 points respectively in the last two quarters to help IOB run away with the match. Bhavnagar could only manage two baskets in the third quarter and trailed by 19 points (28-47). They tried their best in the final quarter, but it a little, too, late.

Results -Men’s semi-final league:  Indian Overseas Bank, Chennai 64 (Prasanna Venkatesh 21, A. Arvind 19) beat Bhavnagar Youngsters 46 (Yudhvir Dahiya 14, Kashi 11). Half-time: 36-24.

ONGC 75 (Amritpal Singh 17, Vishesh Bhriguvanshi 17) beat Services 49 (Abhishek Y.P. 16, Jairam Jat 9). Half-time: 33-19.

Gopalakrishnan R
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