Bhavnagar, Gujarat, 21th September 2015: After a whirlwind semi-final schedule concluded, the finalists at the 32nd Youth National Basketball Championship were set to clash yesterday evening in Bhavnagar, Gujarat. The girls’ final was between defending champs Tamil Nadu and the undefeated Chhattisgarh team, while defending champs Tamil Nadu and the upstart Delhi boys team were set to face each other in the boys’ final.
However, much to everyone’s disappointment, the bad weather continued in Bhavnagar and the incessant rain made it impossible for the organisers to conduct the finals at the venue in M.K. Bhavnagar University. The BFI technical commission, under the chairmanship of Mr. Norman Isaac, held a meeting along with the team managers of the finalists, wherein it was unanimously decided to declare the finalists as joint winners of the tournament. Tamil Nadu and Delhi were declared joint winners in the boys’ category, while Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh were declared joint winners in the girls’ category. The winning teams were present with prize money of INR 75,000 each.
The boys’ third place match also could not be conducted. Therefore, in the aforementioned meeting, it was also decided that the Haryana and Punjab boys would share joint third place. It was also decided to give gold medals to each player from the teams in the finals in both the boys’ and girls’ categories along with an individual winner’s trophy to each team. Further, each of the Haryana and Punjab boys’ players received a bronze medal and each team received a third place trophy. The Maharashtra girls won third place in the girls’ category as decided earlier in the day with their victory against Punjab.
Baladhaneshwar from Tamil Nadu was named as the boys’ MVP for the tournament. This is his second MVP trophy in two years at the Youth National Basketball Championship. From the girls, Chhattisgarh’s Gulabsha Ali was named MVP.
Action from Day 6
After incessant rains in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, the Day 6 matches at the 32nd Youth National Basketball Championship were shifted to a venue in Anand district. The new venue was the Multipurpose Sports Complex at Sardar Patel University in Vallabh Vidyanagar, Anand district, featuring an indoor court and two outdoor courts.
Remaining girls’ quarterfinals
The quarterfinal matches for the girls began with the Chhattisgarh girls displaying their typical team style of play against Madhya Pradesh, with tight defense and several transition buckets. Led by Gulabsha Ali’s 29 points, Chhattisgarh raced to a big lead in the first half, which was enough to carry them through to a 70-51 victory and advancing to the semi-finals, where they would face Maharashtra.
Chhattisgarh (Gulabsha Ali 29, Jyoti 12) bt Madhya Pradesh (Divyani Gangwal 26, Shivani B 14) 70-51 (11-6, 25-16, 15-8, 19-21)
The other girl’s quarterfinal between Tamil Nadu and Kerala began with Tamil Nadu racing to a 22-10 lead in the first quarter. Kerala fought hard to make a comeback in the next three quarters, but Tamil Nadu matched Kerala’s scoring to hold on for a 58-47 victory. They booked a semi-final berth where they would face Punjab.
Tamil Nadu (Ishwarya Janardhan 16, Nishanti M. 14) bt Kerala (Shreekala 18, Akhila 14) 58-47 (22-10, 13-16, 10-10, 12-11)
In the boy’s games, the quarterfinals saw two enthralling encounters. It started off with Uttar Pradesh and Haryana battling for a semi-final spot. After conceding a 25-8 lead to Haryana, Uttar Pradesh stormed back into the game, outscoring Haryana in the remaining quarters. With nothing separating the teams in regular time, the match was decided in the extra time period with Haryana edging past Uttar Pradesh 14 to 10. Ankit and Rinku led the way for their teams with 22 and 20 points respectively.
Haryana (Ankit 22, Rinku 20) bt Uttar Pradesh (Dheeraj 31, Bhagyansh 13) 83-79 (25-8, 9-14, 12-19, 23-28, Extra time 14-10)
The Delhi boys also beat Kerala in a thriller. After a good start, Kerala boys kept the momentum going in the middle periods. But Delhi made a great comeback, dominating the last quarter 29 to 18. With both teams exchanging buckets in the final minutes and with the 1-point lead being exchanged between the teams, the Delhi boys pulled off the last game-winning shot and held on to register a 80-79 lead.
Delhi (Manik 23, Hansraj 17) bt Kerala (Shiras 30, Joshua 28) 80-79 (12-22, 20-16, 19-23, 29-18)
The quarterfinal match between Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra was a one-sided affair with Tamil Nadu racing to a lead and maintaining a comfortable distance from Maharashtra for the rest of the match. Maharashtra was not much of a threat to the defending champs, who put their well-oiled offence on display. MVP P. Baladhaneshwar scored with ease putting up 22 points.
Tamil Nadu (P. Baladhaneshwar 22, G.K. Manikandan 19) bt Maharashtra (Sameer Qureshi 15, Faisan 11) 62-44
The final boys’ quarterfinal between Punjab and Chhattisgarh was also blowout game with Punjab pulling off a 51-26 victory. Punjab out rebounded Chhattisgarh and dominated inside the paint with the play of big men Swapnil and Kanwar. Punjab advanced to the semis to face Delhi.
Punjab (Swapnil 18, Abhi K. 13, Sahil 11) bt Chhattisgarh (Gajendra 6, Vinod 6, Anurag 6) 51-26 (16-4, 6-8, 17-9, 12-5)
Chhattisgarh’s offense was too much for Maharashtra in their girls’ semi-final. MVP Gulabsha Ali exploded for 24 points in the first 3 quarters and her teammate Mahima Bhardwaj contributed 15 points. Chhattisgarh’s team rebounding was evident as all five players crashed the boards. They also found easy transition buckets converting defense into offense. In the end, Chhattisgarh won by over 30 points to advance to the final.
Chhattisgarh (Gulabsha Ali 24, Mahima Bhardwaj 15) bt Maharashtra (Neha 17) 71-40 (19-14, 22-9, 14-10, 16-7)
The other girls’ semi-final was a tighter affair in the first half. In a low-scoring affair, Punjab had a good start to the game and led by 1-point at halftime. But the defending champs came out in the second half with all guns blazing and established a double-digit lead. Tamil Nadu pulled off a 52-39 victory knocking out Punjab and advancing to the final to face Chhattisgarh.
Tamil Nadu (Avanti 13, Ria Sharon 12) bt Punjab (Sakshi 18, Rajandeep Kaur 8) 52-39 (8-5, 7-11, 15-6, 22-17)
Action from Day 7
After defending champs Tamil Nadu girls booked a date in the final to face Chhattisgarh, it was the boys’ turn to repeat last year’s performance and make the final again. Standing in their way was the Haryana boys’ side, who came off a thrilling extra time victory against Uttar Pradesh yesterday in their quarterfinal match.
Tamil Nadu started the game well with a strong first quarter, outscoring Haryana 23 to 13. Captain and last year’s MVP P. Baladhaneshwar continued his form into this game, leading from the front for his team. He was ably assisted by teammate G.K. Manikandan on offense. The first half belonged to Tamil Nadu, ending 41-24 in their favour. In the second half, Haryana tried to push for a comeback. Led by Rinku, they managed to cut down the lead to below 15. But in the end, it was too little too late, as Tamil Nadu held on to a 10-point lead to clinch the 72-62 victory and make it to their second final in two years at the Youth National Basketball Championship.
Tamil Nadu (P. Baladhaneshwar 23, G.K. Manikandan 20, C. Joshua 15) bt Haryana (Rinku 22, Akshay 13, Ankit Joshi 10) 72-62 (23-13, 18-11, 11-10, 20-28)
In the other boys’ semi-final, Delhi faced Punjab in a clash of north Indian basketball powerhouses. Delhi came off a close 1-point victory against Kerala in their quarterfinal, while Punjab dominated against Chhattisgarh in their quarterfinal. However, in this game, Delhi was the dominant team. Delhi built a 20-point lead in the first quarter that ended 24 to 4. For the next 3 quarters, it was all about whether Punjab could make a comeback. But they dug themselves too big a hole at the start of the game. Delhi was led by Manik’s 21 points and Hansraj’s 19 points. Punjab’s Abhi Kumar fought valiantly with 22 points, but his effort went in vain. Delhi now will face defending champs Tamil Nadu in the final.
Delhi (Manik 21, Hansraj 19, Sourav 17) bt Punjab (Abhi Kumar 22, Swapnil Sharma 8) 67-47 (24-4, 10-17, 18-10, 15-16)
The girls’ third place match was between Maharashtra and Punjab. The Maharashtra girls relied on their India campers Rutuja Pawar, Neha Shahu and Shruti Sherigar to steer them to the victory. Balanced scoring effort from their top players and a strong second half helped Maharashtra clinch the bronze medal at the 32nd Youth National Basketball Championship. For Punjab, Sakshi Sharma was the top scorer with 14 points.
Maharashtra (Rutuja Pawar 17, Neha Vinod Shahu 14, Shruti Sherigar 13) bt Punjab (Sakshi Sharma 14, Lovepreet Kaur 10) 51-42 (11-9, 6-11, 15-10, 19-12)
Himachal Pradesh won the loser’s knockout final in the girls’ category with a win against Gujarat, while West Bengal won the boys’ losers knockout final defeating Goa.
Loser’s knockout semi-final:
Gujarat (Niyati 6, Ria Dubey 5) bt Jammu and Kashmir (Dikshita R. 3) 19-4 (13-3, 2-1, 2-0, 2-0)
Loser’s knockout final girls:
Himachal Pradesh (Musakan 19, Vanshika 15) bt Gujarat (Tavleen 12) 45-26 (6-11, 8-2, 19-9, 12-4)
Loser’s knockout semi-final:
West Bengal (Himanshu 20, Saddam 17) bt Himachal Pradesh (Abhishek 16, Jatin 8, Chetan 6) 48-38 (2-7, 9-8, 19-16, 18-7)
Loser’s knockout final:
West Bengal (Saddam 29, Himanshu 8) bt Goa (Shaun 14) 51-23 (13-10, 19-8, 11-2, 8-3)
The final rankings of the Level 1 teams after the tournament are as follows:
Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh – Joint 1st
Maharashtra – 3rd
Punjab – 4th
MP – 5th
Kerala – 6th
Haryana – 7th
Karnataka – 8th
West Bengal – 9th
Uttar Pradesh – 10th
Tamil Nadu and Delhi – Joint 1st
Haryana, Punjab – Joint 3rd
Kerala – 5th
Maharashtra – 6th
Uttar Pradesh – 7th
Chhattisgarh – 8th
Gujarat – 9th
Chandigarh – 10th
The teams that have been relegated from Level 1 to Level 2 from the boys’ category are Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, while Delhi and Andhra Pradesh from the girls’ category dropped to Level 2 for next year’s tournament.
About 32nd Youth National Basketball Championship
The 32nd Youth National Basketball Championship is being conducted in Bhavnagar, Gujarat from 14th to 20th September 2015 by the Gujarat State Basketball Association in association with the Bhavnagar District Basketball Association and the Youngsters Basketball Club, Bhavnagar under the aegis of the Basketball Federation of India.
The tournament shall see the participation of 43 teams from different states, which includes and 22 teams in the boys’ category and 21 teams in the girls’ category, in the ‘16 and under’ age group. Last year’s Youth National Championship was held in Chandigarh. The winners of the 2014 version were Tamil Nadu, in both the boys’ and girls’ categories, while the first runners up position was secured by the boys’ and girls’ teams from Kerala. The third place winner in the boys’ category last year was the team from Haryana. In the girls’ category, the third place winner last year was Karnataka.
This year’s tournament is being held on two outdoor courts at Maharaja Krishnakumarsinhji Bhavnagar University. KARP Impex Group, involved in the business of diamond polishing, crafting and sale and based out of Surat, Gujarat, is the title sponsor for the event. Other sponsors include Sports Authority of Gujarat, Sheetal Group, Acrysil Limited, Madhu Silica, HVK, Rudra TMX, Mono TMT Bar, Leela Worldwide, Maruti Metal Industries, Priya Blue Industries Private Limited, Navyug Pharma Chemical Private Limited, NBM – Iron and Steel Trading Private Limited and Kiran Diamonds.
About Basketball Federation of India
The Basketball Federation of India or BFI is the governing and controlling body of basketball in India, and is responsible for the development and promotion of the sport at all levels. BFI has been involved in conducting camps, clinics, events, and training sessions at its academies for the development of basketball. BFI came into being in 1935 and took complete control over Indian basketball in 1950. Prior to that time, the Indian Olympic Association handled the conduct of Indian basketball championships. Since 1950, the BFI has been conducting various such championships, from the grassroots to senior team participation in international tournaments. In addition, the BFI has been responsible for the establishment of strong sub-junior and junior level programs. The BFI has to its credit produced several international players of repute, among them 17 have been bestowed with the honour of Arjuna Awards. Earlier in June 2015, 19-year-old Satnam Singh Bhamara made history by becoming the first Indian national to be drafted by an NBA team, when he was selected by the Dallas Mavericks. More information at www.basketballfederationindia.org