Babykutty, Kottayam, 12th July 2015: The All Kerala Veteran Basketball Tournament concluded on 12 July at the Girideepam Bethany Basketball Court under the auspices of Veterans Basketball Club, Kottayam. Many senior Indian International players were honoured by the Minister of Sports and Transport, Mr. Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan. The list of honoured players includes Mohammed Iqbal who was chosen for the Indian All-Star Player award in 1969, Unwin Antony (former Indian Captain), Leelamma Santosh (leading scorer for India in 1982 Asian Games), C.V Sunny who led India during the 1995 SAF Games and many more.
The star studded event was attended by many fine international players like I.M Vijayan who played for Thrissur, Santosh Kumar (International Football referee), Jose Kurien (Chief Security Officer, Government Secretariat), P.C Antony (International coach). The women athletes who attended the event included Jiji and Geo sisters, Jaya and Binu Cherian (former FACT players). International Basketball couples V.V Harilal (Kerala Police) and Renny ( FACT), Zacharia and Jeena from Southern Raillways, Tom Jose and Asha from Dubai also added colours to the event.
In the men’s pre-quarter final matches, host Kottayam Veterans led by former international C.V Sunny who contributed 22 points defeated JCI Athirampuzha by 18 points. In the second pre quarter final match, Changanacherry Basketball Club went down to Pala Basketball Club 61-73. In the last match of the day, Thebasco Thevara beat Alapuzha Basketball Club by 51-43.
In the quarter finals, Palakkad and Piravam got a walk over while Thrissur with IM Vijayan in its rank defeated Thebasco Thevara by 59-44. The last quarter final was played between Kottayam Veterans and Pala Veterans. The hosts emerged victorious with the score of 65-48.
In the men semi finals Kottayam Veterans Club was pitted against Palakkad whereas Pirovam Cosmos Club took on Thrissur. Kottayam and Thrissur qualified for the finals but the star of the host team, CV Sunny could not play the final match due to an ankle injury. Thrissur Veterans defeated Kottayam Veterans by 14 points. Sunny Thomas (Customs coach) who played for Thrissur outscored everyone with 32 points whereas for Kottayam, Dimal scored 18 points.
The women also participated in the tournament this year and came all the way from Chennai, Mumbai and Australia. Kannur side consisting of an array of former Internationals defeated Ernakulum 40-12 with International Jiji Jose top scoring for Kannur with 13 points followed by another International, her sister scoring 11 points. Ernakulum’s former International and FACT Player Kaladevi contributed 5 points. In the round Robin League, Kannur women defeated Kottayam by 39-18 to claim the title.
The event became a huge success due to the constant efforts of former state players Saji Abraham and Suma Joseph. The event could not have been possible without the President of Kottayam Veterans Basketball Club, Mr. Abraham Eapen Palampadam and George Jacob Purackal.
Men Final: Thrissur bt Kottayam (69-55)
Top Scorers: Sunny Thomas-32, Gopalakrishnan-10 ( Thrissur)
Dimal C Mathew-18, Zacharia Thomas-14 (Kottayam)
Men Semi Finals:
Kottayam bt. Palakkad (56-38)
Top scorers: Zacharia-10, Koshy-10 (Kottayam)
Thrissur bt. Pirovam Cosmos Club (42-24)
Top scorers: Sunny Thomas-16, Gopalakrishnan-10 (Thrissur)
Men Quarter Finals:
Kottayam Veterans bt. Pala Veterans (65-48)
Top Scorers: Dimal C Mathew-25, Zakaria-15 (Kottayam)
Anu-16( Pala Veterans)
Thrissur bt. Thebasco Thevara (59-44)
Top Scorers: Gopalakrishnan-18, Issac-14, Prem-10 (Thrissur)
Joshy Varghese-19 (Thebasco Thevara)
Men Pre Quarter Finals:
Thebasco Thevara bt. Alapuzha Basketballers (51-43)
Top scorers: Joshy Varghese-19, Paulose Joseph-16 (Thebasco)
Joji Varghese-22, John-18 (Alapuzha)
Kottayam Veterans Club bt. JCI Athrampuzha (66-48)
Top scorers: C.V Sunny-22, Dimal C Mathew-21, Zacharia-13 (Kottayam)
Pala Basketball Club bt. Changanacherry Basketball Club (73-61)
Top scorers: Beeny-21, Sanjeev-12 (Pala Basketball Club)
Raju Jacob-20, Sebastian Kunju-16 (Changanacherry Basketball Club)
Women Round Robin League:
Kannur bt Ernakulam (40-12)
Top scorers: Jiji Jose-13, Geo Blessen-11, Beena-11 (Kannur)
Kannur bt. Kottayam (39-18)
Top scorers: Geo Blessen-13, Sheelamma Varghese-12 (Kannur)
Kottayam bt. Ernakulam (33-20)
Top scorers: Jeena Zacharia-15 (Kottayam)
Binu Cherian-10 (Ernakulam)