Ludhiana, Punjab, 4th October 2015: We are midway through the league stages of the 66th Junior National Basketball Championship as the basketball action heats up here in Ludhiana, Punjab.
The evening of the second day of the tournament saw Delhi and Kerala battle it out in an extra time thriller. Last year’s runners up, the Delhi boys were sluggish to start the game, while Kerala came out aggressive. While the honours were even in the first half, the third quarter belonged to Kerala as they took an 8-point lead. But the Delhi boys fought their way back into the game and forced overtime. In the overtime period, Delhi dominated against a tired Kerala team and clinched a 94-87 victory.
In the other games of the evening, the home team Punjab girls took on the strong Karnataka team that featured Bhandavya Mahesha, who competed for India at the FIBA Asia Championship for Women 2015. She is the only player from the senior women’s side in the tournament. The Karnataka team showed their mettle against the home side in a one-sided contest. The Punjab defense could not control the penetration of the Karnataka side, which showed good ball rotation and converted majority of their points in the paint. Priyanka led the Karnataka side with 22 points.
On the other hand, the Punjab boys’ side picked up their second victory against an undersized Madhya Pradesh side. Punjab’s India camper Rahul Mehla put up 25 points as Punjab dominated from start to finish to register a 74-39 victory. In the level 2 boys’ games yesterday evening, Chandigarh and Uttar Pradesh picked up easy victories against Tripura and Telangana respectively, while the Gujarat boys also comfortably defeated Puducherry 61-34.
On Day 3, the Karnataka girls continued their good form, completely dominating against the Madhya Pradesh girls side. Senior player Bhandavya Mahesha showed her class with 32 points. Sakshi Pandey had 17 points for Madhya Pradesh in a losing effort. The Tamil Nadu girls continued their quest to move to Level 1 in the tournament with a blowout victory against Gujarat.
In the boys’ level 1 games on Day 3 morning, Tamil Nadu cruised to another comfortable victory, this time against Haryana. The TN boys broke the 100-point barrier by putting up 104 points, led by Surya’s 21 points and Dhimant Sahi’s 20 points. Their offense looks like a well-oiled machine as we progress further into the tournament. Later, the Rajasthan boys took on the Maharashtra side that was coming off a victory in their last game. However, this time, Maharashtra could not produce the same result as the Rajasthan side outplayed them. With multiple players scoring above 15 points, Rajasthan outclassed their opponent on the court with a 94-50 victory.
Later in the day, the Kerala girls had a good game against Rajasthan, showcasing their tight defense and smooth transition play. Nimmy top scored for Kerala with 16 points as her team achieved a huge margin of victory with the final score at 75-30. In the same Group B, Maharashtra picked up a win against West Bengal leading throughout the game. Carina from the Maharashtra team put up 17 points.
The Delhi boys are picking up speed in the tournament, with a victory in an easy game against Andhra Pradesh in the early evening. They broke the tournament scoring record set by tournament earlier in the day putting up 105 points against Andhra Pradesh.
In the level 2 games, the Chandigarh boys beat Bihar 65-38, led by Abhishek’s 30 points and inched closer to advancing to level 1. The West Bengal boys also are doing well in their level 2 group with a 57-35 victory against Telangana.
Results from Day 2 after 5:30 pm
Karnataka (Priyanka 22, Bhoomika P. 17) bt Punjab (Gagandeep Kaur 9, Aakarshan Sandhu 9) 61-40 (24-8, 18-11, 13-14, 6-7)
Punjab (Rahul Mehla 25, Dilpreet 21) bt Madhya Pradesh (Ashish 15) 74-39 (40-8, 14-16, 12-10, 8-5)
Delhi (Sunil 31, Erash 15) bt Kerala (Arjun 23, Amal 14, Jibin M. John 14) 94-87 (14-18, 22-18, 12-20, 25-17, Extra time 21-14)
Gujarat (Mirant Bharat 17, Jugal Rajen 12) bt Puducherry (Barani 20, Atchuthan 11) 61-34 (14-10, 21-10, 20-14, 6-0)
Uttar Pradesh (Atal Rai 15, Shivan 9) bt Telangana (M. Uday Kiran 6) 56-14 (22-6, 11-8, 15-0, 8-0)
Chandigarh (Amit 13, Jatin 13) bt Tripura (Shobit 5) 45-5 (20-2, 12-0, 12-3, 1-0)
Results from Day 3 up to 6:00 pm
Karnataka (Bhandavya Mahesha 32, Bhoomika 14) bt Madhya Pradesh (Sakshi Pandey 17, Shivangi 8) 78-32 (19-9, 24-7, 14-10, 21-6)
Kerala (Nimmy 16, Nimmi 12) bt Haryana (Surya 10, Bharti 6, Preeti 6) 75-30 (21-7, 25-6, 16-13, 13-4)
Maharashtra (Carina 17, Alika 12, Priyanka 9) bt West Bengal (Rashmi 13, Pavlami 9, Pratyusha 7) 70-42 (20-11, 25-4, 17-11, 8-16)
Tamil Nadu (M. Suriyadharshini 10, K. Prithi 9, M. Nishanthi 7) bt Gujarat (Arti 10, Daxa V. 8) 65-29 (21-6, 12-6, 21-6, 11-11)
Rajasthan (Kamlesh Taragi 17) bt Goa (Rachel Raposa 11, Rose Rhea Rebelo 11) 47-26 (12-8, 10-6, 9-3, 16-9)
Chandigarh (Akashita 20, Amrit 17) bt Odisha (Urbasi 12, Jayashree 10) 54-52 (14-11, 10-7, 15-11, 15-23)
Andhra Pradesh (N. Padmavath 6, G. Suneetha 6) bt Bihar 30-4 (10-0, 7-0, 7-2, 6-2)
Tamil Nadu (Surya 21, Dhimant Sahi 20) bt Haryana (Lalit 21, Deepak 19) 104-76 (20-17, 28-19, 24-14, 32-26)
Rajasthan (Akhilesh 23, Yogesh 22, Mahipal 19) bt Maharashtra (Sameer 19, Ashraf 12) 94-50 (21-23, 31-17, 27-6, 14-4)
Delhi (Sunil 20, Somir 18, Erash 13) bt Andhra Pradesh (Neeraj 11, D. Mohammad 10) 105-58 (31-12, 22-10, 18-18, 34-18)
West Bengal (Arka Saha 11, Dharmendra 8) bt Telengana (S. Sai Kumar 16, J. Pranay Kumar 11) 57-35 (24-6, 11-13, 11-6, 11-10)
Uttarakhand (Viyoung 20, Abhijot 14, Vaibhav 10) bt Tripura (Nirakar 18, Deepak 11, Kunal 8) 54-45 (19-17, 11-4, 14-15, 10-9)
Chandigarh (Abhishek 30, Amit 16) bt Bihar (Vishnu Kumar 12, Abhinandan 10, Nitesh Kumar 10) 65-38 (22-12, 25-13, 8-3, 10-10)
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