On a day of fluctuating fortunes for the home team, Maharashtra women made a rousing start in the 29th Federation Cup Basketball Championship which began at the Shiv Chattrapathi Krida Sankul, Mhalunge, Balewadi, Pune on Sunday.
The five-day annual event for the top-eight Indian teams in both the men and women category is the first big event organized by the controversially elected executive committee of the Basketball Federation of India (BFI), the elections for the 2015-2019 term were held at Pune on Saturday. The BFI is conducting this event in association with Maharashtra State Basketball Association (MSBA)and Poona District Basketball Association (PDBA).
While Maharashtra women outplayed Delhi 58-34, their men’s counterpart represented by Mumbai South East district were outclassed by last years’ runners-up Indian Overseas Bank, Chennai, 65-38. The defending men’s champion ONGC, Uttrakhand, had to sweat hard against Bhivani District, Haryana, in winning 83-73.
The event was inaugurated by Minister of Food and Supplies, Government of Maharashtra Girish Bapat. Newly elected president of BFI and MSBA and MP Poonam Mahajan presided over the inaugural ceremony. On the occasion MP Anil Shirole of Pune, Secretary General of BFI Roopam Harish Sharma, secretary of MSBA Govind Krishnan Muthukumar shared the dais. The opening function was also graced by the president and secretaries of various states those who attended the Annual General Body meeting (AGM) of the BFI held at Pune on Saturday. In addition, members of the newly elected executive committee of the BFI were also present.
Addressing the large gathering, BFI’s first woman president (provided of course that the elections are ratified) Poonam Mahajan assured all the requisite facilities for Indian hoopsters, “We are here for the players and will do everything for the benefit of the players.”
BFI’s first woman Secretary General (again this is subject to the elections being ratified), Roopam Harish Sharma said, “We are confident that we will work aggressively and positively for the benefit of the players and for the game.”
Women: Maharashtra (Shruthi Menon 20, Kenny Susan 17, Sneha Rajguru 8) bt Delhi (Sahiba Mann 15, Monika Uais 8) 58-34 (16-8, 18-7, 16-2, 8-17)
Men: ONGC, Uttrakhand, (Amritpal Singh 18, Vishesh Briguvanshi 16) bt Bhivani, Haryana, (Deepak Rathee 15, Joginder 14) 83-73 (17-17, 29-19, 19-13, 18-24);
IOB, Chennai, (A Arvind 14, Amjyot Singh 8) bt Mumbai South East, Maharashtra, (Siddhant S 19) 65-38 (21-7, 13-12, 10-7, 21-12)