Bengaluru, 11th October 2015: The final day of the 2nd Mulki Sunder Ram Shetty All India Basketball Tournament 2015 being organised by Vijaya Bank lived up to its billing, with two classic, albeit contrasting games. In the process, Income Tax, Chennai has been crowned champions beating ONGC, Dehradun 70-56 in the finale. Shri AC Swain, General Manager, Personnel Department of Vijaya Bank distributed the individual and team trophies, while Shri K Govindaraj, President of the Basketball Federation of India graced the finale as chief guest.
Earlier, in the first match of the evening, hosts Vijaya Bank survived a late scoring spree from Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) to finish third. Guards Anil Kumar (from Vijaya Bank) and Albin Baby (KSEB) top scored for their respective teams with 26 and 32 points respectively.
Income Tax beats ONGC in the finals
When teams are gunning for gold, emotions can get the better of players. With the earlier league round loss to Income Tax, Chennai fresh in their memory, ONGC Dehradun began the finals with an aggressive intent. Last time the two teams faced, ONGC’s international forward Yadwinder Singh, had sat out with a leg injury that he had sustained in India’s Asian Championship campaign. The unfavourable result meant that Yadwinder had to start this final game despite his questionable fitness. Yadwinder proved to be the difference maker in the semifinal win over hosts Vijaya Bank yesterday, and tonight too he was the difference maker, but not the way he would have hoped.
Barely a few minutes into the first quarter, an altercation broke out between Yadwinder and Income Tax backup centre Ravi Kumar. Veteran ONGC centre Murali Krishna rushed to his teammate’s defence. All three players immediately got disqualified from the game and were sent to the stands. The impact hurt ONGC’s frontline much more, as they were already missing premier centre Amritpal Singh.
With their balance intact, Income Tax took full advantage, moving the ball inside and out, to take a healthy double digit lead at the end of the first quarter. ONGC battled hard, repeatedly switching their aging backup centres of Anoop Mukkaniyil and Shabeer Ahamed, but they could do little to stop international centre Rikin Pethani from scoring in the post. Pethani would finish the match with 19 points.
The score at half time was 44-24 in favour of the Chennai team. The second half saw current India captain Vishesh Bhriguvanshi do everything in his power for ONGC, as he stormed the floor and made tough layups against the run of play. Bhriguvanshi’s 24 points was the highest score among all players on the floor, and he got the consolation prize of best player in the finals. Fellow guard teammate Riyazuddin scored 14 in the losing cause, while for Income Tax, consistent guard Ram Kumar produced a solid 24 points. Ram Kumar was deservedly was awarded the most promising player of the tournament.
The final score of 70-56 underlined the dominance of this Income Tax, Chennai in this tournament, as the side finished with a perfect 5-0 record from the league stages and knockouts.
Income Tax, Chennai (Ram Kumar 22, Rikin Pethani 19, Akilan Pari 10) bt ONGC, Dehradun (Vishesh Bhriguvanshi 24, Riyazuddin 14) 70-56 [20-10, 24-14, 17-19, 9-13]
3rd and 4th Place Match
Vijaya Bank, Bengaluru (Anil Kumar 26, Arvind 19, Rajesh Uppar 11) bt Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), Thiruvananthapuram (Albin Baby 32, Anoop 11, Ajith 8) 65-61 [20-15, 16-14, 16-14, 13-18]
Awards and Prizes
The winning team received a cash prize of Rs 60,000/-, first runners up Rs 40,000/-, second runners up Rs 20,000/- and fourth placed side Rs 10,000.
The tournament most valuable player (MVP) was awarded Rs 3000, most promising player Rs 2000. Cash prizes of Rs 1000/- each was also given to the best players in the four semifinals played yesterday, as well from the third and fourth place match earlier today.
Tournament Best Players
Most Valuable Player: MA Raghuram from Income Tax, Chennai
Most Promising Player: Ram Kumar from Income Tax, Chennai
Best Players in knockout stages
Finals: Vishesh Bhriguvanshi
3rd and 4th place match: Albin Baby from KSEB
1st semifinals (Income Tax vs KSEB): Rikin Pethani from Income Tax
2nd semifinals (ONGC vs Vijaya Bank): Riyazuddin from ONGC
- Income Tax, Chennai
- ONGC, Dehradun
- Vijaya Bank, Bengaluru
- Kerala State Electricity Board, Thiruvananthapuram
About the Mulki Sunder Ram Shetty All India Basketball Tournament
The tournament was held at the Kanteerava Indoor Stadium in Bengaluru from 7th to 11th October 2015, under the auspices of the Basketball Federation of India and the Karnataka State Basketball Association. Matches will be played every evening from 5:00 pm onwards in a league cum knockout basis.
The tournament is being held in the memory of the Late Shri Mulki Sunder Ram Shetty, a longstanding former Chairman, who was instrumental in the growth of the bank through the 60s and 70s.
In the latest 2015 edition, 8 teams participated, divided into two Pools of 4 teams each. This edition of the tournament will feature some of the nation’s top men’s club sides such as last year’s runners up and reigning National Games champion Oil and National Gas Corporation (ONGC)-Dehradun, Punjab, Integral Coach Factory (ICF)-Chennai, Income Tax-Chennai, Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), South Central Railway-Secunderabad, hosts Vijaya Bank and Karnataka State team.
The top two teams from each Pool qualifying to the knockout rounds. The inaugural edition of the tournament was held last year in Malleshwaram, with Indian Overseas Bank (IOB)-Chennai, ONGC, Vijaya Bank and Karnataka State finishing as the top four teams respectively.
About Vijaya Bank & Its Basketball Programme
Vijaya Bank, was founded on 23rd October 1931 by late Shri A B Shetty and other enterprising farmers in Mangalore, Karnataka. The objective of the founders was essentially to promote banking habit, thrift and entrepreneurship among the farming community of Dakshina Kannada district in Karnataka State. The bank became a scheduled bank in 1958.
Vijaya Bank steadily grew into a large All India bank, with nine smaller banks merging with it during the 1963-68. The credit for this merger as well as growth goes to late Shri M. Sunder Ram Shetty, who was then the Chief Executive of the bank. The bank was nationalised on 15th April 1980. The bank has built a network of 1512 branches, 48 Extension Counters and 1528 ATMs, that span all 28 states and 4 union territories in the country.
Each branch provides effective and efficient services and significantly contributes to the growth of the individual, and the nation.
Notably, Vijaya Bank is the only recruiter of basketball talent in the state of Karnataka, and has contributed 10 international players to the country, starting with Olympian Gurumurthy Dileep, who joined the bank way back in 1977. Other international players honed by the bank are former India captain BS Gautham (1986), A Rajkumar (1988), S Stalin (1993), G Murali Mohan (1995), Roshan Thankachan (1999), Sanjay Raj (2002), Arvind Arumugam and Rajesh Uppar (both in 2012). Including these international stars, in all, the bank has recruited 25 national level players, who have represented their bank and the state of Karnataka with great pride and gusto.