Ludhiana, Punjab, 3rd October 2015: After the inauguration ceremony on the opening day of the 66th Junior National Basketball Championship taking place in Ludhiana, Punjab, the home teams entered the indoor court at Guru Nanak Stadium for their first games of the tournament yesterday evening. The defending champions Punjab boys faced Rajasthan in their level 1 game in front of their home crowd. Many of the boys from the Punjab team have been trained at the same court here in Ludhiana.
Punjab came out strong in the first quarter, taking an early lead in the game. Their India camper Rahul Mehla led the way on the offensive end for the Punjab team. However, Rajasthan fought back in the middle periods relying on the scoring of former India player Mahipal Singh, who ended the game with 31 points. Towards the end though, Punjab took over the game with contributions from Ajit Poonia who scored 22 points in the game. In the end, the Punjab boys pulled off a 85-68 victory.
The Punjab girls team faced Delhi in their level 1 encounter yesterday evening. The match was a one-sided encounter with Punjab’s experienced campers Somi Kumari and Gagandeep Kaur scoring with ease. Delhi was blown out 56-24 by the Punjab team, who outscored Delhi in all four periods. Defending champions Chhattisgarh girls also began their campaign with a 81-45 victory against Madhya Pradesh, led by Vandana’s 26 points and Riya’s 25 points. The boys’ contingent of Chhattisgarh also started the tournament well with a comfortable 56-39 victory against Jammu and Kashmir.
On the morning of Day 2 of the 66th Junior National Basketball Championship at Ludhiana, Punjab, the Uttar Pradesh girls continued their good form with their second victory of the tournament against Maharashtra. Vaishnavi top scored for the UP team with 22 points. The Haryana girls bounced back from their Day 1 loss with a victory against West Bengal in a high-scoring contest that ended 91-76. Bharti put up 33 points for Haryana, while Paulami put up 38 points for West Bengal in a losing effort.
The Tamil Nadu girls had their first game of the tournament today morning against Himachal Pradesh. Tamil Nadu made easy work of their opponent and registered a 63-29 victory on the basis of a balanced team scoring effort.
In the post-noon session, Tamil Nadu boys broke no sweat against the Andhra Pradesh team. In their second game of the tournament, the team scored at will with easy transition buckets. Led by R. Hari Ram’s 17 points, Tamil Nadu picked up a blowout 79-31 victory. Earlier, the Maharashtra and Karnataka boys were engaged in a hard-fought contest. While Karnataka built an early 15-point lead, Maharashtra clawed their way back into the game. Maharashtra outscored their opponent by double digits in the third quarter and maintained their composure in the fourth to pull off a 86-83 victory.
In the afternoon level 1 girls’ game, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh battled in a clash of styles. Delhi relied mostly on their post players, with a bulk of the scoring load being undertaken by their 6 foot 7 inch centre Pallavi Kumari. But the Delhi defense could not shut down Madhya Pradesh’s star player Sakshi Pandey who displayed her offensive range from all over the court. With strong drives to the basket and timely outside jumpers, she led her team to a 72-64 victory and ended the game with 37 points.
Results from Day 1 after 7:00 pm
Chhattisgarh (Vandana 26, Riya 25) bt Madhya Pradesh (Sibangi 11, Sakhya 10) 81-45 (12-14, 23-16, 17-4, 29-11)
Punjab (Somi Kumari 20, Gagandeep 12) bt Delhi (Ragnee 9) 56-24 (15-4, 9-7, 17-6, 15-7)
Himachal Pradesh (Vishali 14, Disha Rana 7) bt Gujarat (Dharakakadiya 10, Daya Vaghjiyani 8) 42-38 (7-8, 7-10, 10-12, 18-8)
Odisha (Suvanki S. 16, Saraswati B. 13) bt Uttarakhand (Riya Gothi 3) 45-5 (10-4, 18-0, 9-0, 8-1)
Telangana (G. Nuthana 10, G. Kavya 8) bt Bihar (Juhi Kumari 7, Kajal Singh 6, Khushboo Hora 6) 24-19 (9-6, 7-2, 2-9, 6-2)
Punjab (Rahul 23, Ajit 22, Jaipal Singh 9) bt Rajashtan (Mahipal 31, Yogesh 10) 85-68 (19-10, 12-19, 30-24, 24-15)
Chhattisgarh (Pankaj Pandey 19, Mukesh Yadav 10, Atul Chauhan 10) bt Jammu and Kashmir (Amanjot Singh 24, Rishabh Bakshi 6) 56-39 (18-10, 10-6, 16-6, 12-18)
Chandigarh (Amit 19, Abhishek 14) bt Uttarakhand (Uday 4) 49-13 (21-2, 10-3, 11-4, 7-4)
Bihar (Nitesh KV 17, Vishnu K 10) bt Tripura (Shubhit 13, Harish SK 11) 53-32 (6-10, 10-11, 18-7, 19-4)
Results from Day 2 up to 5:30 pm
Madhya Pradesh (Sakshi 37, Shivani 18, Shivangi 10) bt Delhi (Pallavi Kumari 24, Shubham Ohlan 10, Divya 10) 72-64 (18-15, 21-16, 14-19, 19-14)
Uttar Pradesh (Vaishnavi 22, Shreyasi 12) bt Maharashtra (Shreya S. 12, Carina 10) 59-41 (17-7, 15-14, 16-7, 11-13)
Haryana (Bharti 33, Namrata 26) bt West Bengal (Paulami 38, Pratyusha 21) 91-76 (23-16, 18-25, 25-18, 25-17)
Tamil Nadu (K. Prithi 14, S. Shreyanka 8) bt Himachal Pradesh (Arushi Sharma 9) 63-29 (17-14, 19-4, 11-7, 16-4)
Rajasthan (Kamlesh 19, Pratibha 11) bt Jammu and Kashmir (Pearl 6) 55-15 (17-2, 19-6, 8-5, 11-2)
Odisha (Urbasi 16, Jayashree 12) bt Puducherry (Uma 6, Susanya 6) 53-23 (13-4, 16-3, 4-10, 0-6)
Chandigarh (Amrit 6, Tanu 5, Aman 4) bt Uttarakhand (Ashmita 3) 24-3 (8-0, 12-1, 4-0, 0-2)
Bihar (Khushboo 12) bt Tripura (Sonali 7) 22-12 (2-3, 8-0, 2-6, 10-3)
Andhra Pradesh (Haffijunnisha 17) bt Telangana (P. Akshitha 4) 43-4 (17-1, 10-0, 9-0, 7-3)
Maharashtra (Sayyed 19, Ashraf 18) bt Karnataka (Kartikh 31, Mufeez 18) 86-83 (11-26, 19-18, 34-23, 22-16)
Tamil Nadu (R. Hari Ram 17, A. Daniel Richards 15) bt Andhra Pradesh (V. Naveen Sagar 9, B. Neeraj Kumar 8) 79-31 (16-6, 19-11, 29-9, 15-5)
Himachal Pradesh (Keshav Sood 16, Arvind Rana 14) bt Jammu and Kashmir (Amanjot Singh 12) 60-37 (20-14, 13-8, 16-11, 11-4)
West Bengal (Arka Saha 19, Vinod 12) bt Goa (Roy Pereira 14) 58-28 (21-16, 20-2, 7-8, 10-2)
Bihar (Nitesh Kumar 14, Sonu Kumar 9) bt Uttarakhand (Vaibhav Gupta 8, Mayank Verma 6) 46-37 (15-14, 10-14, 13-3, 8-6)
About the 66th Junior National Basketball Championship
The 66th Junior National Basketball Championship is being organised in Ludhiana, Punjab. The tournament for the ‘18 and under’ category is scheduled from October 2 to October 9 2015 in the basketball hotbed of Punjab, which has produced numerous star international players. The Punjab Basketball Association is the organising body for the tournament under the aegis of the Basketball Federation of India. The venue for the championship is the courts at the Guru Nanak Stadium. There is one indoor court and two outdoor courts at the venue.
Last year’s Junior National Championship was held in Kochi, Kerala. Home team Punjab boys were the winners of the 65th version of the tournament; while Delhi came runners up and Tamil Nadu were the third placed team in the boys’ category. For the girls, Chhattisgarh are the defending champions, who defeated the Kerala girls in the final last year. Uttar Pradesh girls achieved third place.
This year’s tournament will witness the participation of 24 states, each with a boys’ and girls’ team. The last time a national level basketball championship was held in Ludhiana was the Senior National Basketball Championship in 2012-13.
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