Puducherry CM Shri N. Rangaswamy attempts a ceremonial freethrow.

Puducherry CM Shri N. Rangasamy attempts a ceremonial freethrow.

Puducherry, 2nd February 2016: The Arise Steel 42nd Sub-Junior National Basketball Championship tipped off at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium here in Puducherry today. On the morning of Day 1 of the tournament, girls’ defending champions Kerala got off to a resounding start with a big victory over West Bengal 48 to 17. Krisha Priya top scored for Kerala with 18 points. Last year’s runners up Chhattisgarh girls also picked up a comfortable victory defeating Delhi 89 to 36, led by Elizabeth Ekka’s 27 points. The Tamil Nadu girls started off their campaign with a victory over Haryana 80-58. Tamil Nadu’s Pavithra Sree scored a game-high 36 points against Haryana, who were led by Maika’s 32 points in the losing effort. Interestingly, the Haryana team lineup also featured Miraya Vadra, the daughter of Indian politician and member of the Congress party, Priyanka Vadra and businessman Robert Vadra. Miraya did put her skills on display for limited minutes during the game in the stadium named after her late grandfather, much to the delight of the media shutterbugs present at the venue.

In the boys’ games on the morning of Day 1, the Tamil Nadu and West Bengal boys were embroiled in a cracker of a matchup that ended after two extra time periods. Tamil Nadu held their nerve in the final minutes to clinch the 84-79 victory, relying on a balanced team effort led by Dhanush’s game-high 25 points. The Rajasthan boys also began on a positive note with a 91-79 victory over Andhra Pradesh. The Rajasthan boys’ team features the only foreign coach in the tournament, Marko Zarkovic from Serbia, who is the assistant coach for the team. Delhi and Punjab boys also picked up opening-day victories against Tripura and Goa respectively.

Puducherry (in blue) and Himachal Pradesh (in white) girls in action

Puducherry (in blue) and Himachal Pradesh (in white) girls in action

In the second half of the day, boys’ defending champions took the court in their first game against Maharashtra. The match turned out to be a thrilling contest that ended with the defending champs edging past Maharashtra 57 to 55, thanks to Pankaj Singh’s 26 points for the MP team. The other level 1 boys’ game between Odisha and Haryana also went down to the wire with only two points separating the teams once again. Odisha emerged winners of the contest defeating Haryana 61-59. Last year’s runners up, the Chhattisgarh boys, made short work of Chandigarh defeating them by a whopping 60-point margin to pick up their first victory.

The home teams, Puducherry boys and girls lost their opening day games against Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh respectively. The opening ceremony is scheduled to take place from 6 pm onwards at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium today.

Miraya Vadra of Haryana (no. 15 in white) with the ball against Tamil Nadu (in blue).

Miraya Vadra of Haryana (no. 15 in white) with the ball against Tamil Nadu (in blue). She is the daughter of Indian politician and member of the Congress party, Priyanka Vadra and businessman Robert Vadra.

Results from Day 1 up to 5 pm

Girls:

Level 1:

Group A:

  1. Kerala (Krishna Priya SS 18, Anagha G. Nair 10) bt West Bengal (Asmina 4, Rittika 4) 48-17 (11-4, 21-5, 7-6, 9-2)
  2. Tamil Nadu (Pavithra Sree 36) bt Haryana (Maika 32) 80-58 (23-6, 8-9, 23-14, 22-19)

Group B:

  1. Chhattisgarh (Elizabeth Ekka 27, Neha Karva 22, Shweta Sen 14) bt Delhi (Sameeksha 10, Vanshita Singh 7) 89-36 (28-8, 16-7, 14-14, 20-7)
  2. Madhya Pradesh (Rajvi Desai 24) bt Uttar Pradesh (Muskan Maurya 13) 46-36 (13-7, 8-12, 10-11, 15-6)

Level 2:

Group D:

  1. Himachal Pradesh (Ananya Sanoria 19) bt Puducherry (Nila 11) 47-15 (20-0, 5-2, 9-7, 13-6)

Group E:

  1. Rajasthan (Simran Birla 12, Raksheta Raman 13, Harshita Sharma 10) bt Goa (Shimei Nathan 11) 52-13 (19-4, 12-2, 13-1, 8-6)

Boys:

Level 1:

Group A:

  1. Odisha (Sourav Kumar Sahoo 16, Brahmananda Behera 14) bt Haryana (Aryan 14, Sahil 11) 61-59 (10-14, 14-24, 18-13, 19-8)
  2. Madhya Pradesh (Pankaj Singh 26) bt Maharashtra (Sankalp Panda 14, Pritish Kokate 12) 57-55 (13-10, 10-7, 24-14, 10-24)

Group B:

  1. Rajasthan (Mohammad Aasif 33, Jaiveer 19, Bharat Kumar 12) bt Andhra Pradesh (A. Sai Pavan Kumar 23, P. Venkata Raju 14) 91-69 (19-16, 21-14, 29-15, 22-24)
  2. Chhattisgarh (Sajjad Ali 18, Rahul Hadleskar 16) bt Chandigarh (Aryan 4) 70-10 (20-2, 14-5, 18-1, 18-2)

Level 2:

Group C:

  1. Himachal Pradesh (Jugraj Singh 20, Vishal Verma 14) bt Jammu and Kashmir (Divanshu Pandey 13, Prasant Singh 12) 70-36 (21-9, 23-1, 14-18, 11-8)

Group D:

  1. Gujarat (Rushal 15, Jigar 10) bt Puducherry (Charanraj 8) 61-22 (25-10, 12-5, 13-2, 11-5)

Group E:

  1. Tamil Nadu (Dhanush 25, Saran 19, Surya 11) bt West Bengal (Rohith 12, Sumith Shan 12, Binay 10) 84-79 (15-13, 12-13, 17-25, 22-15, Extra Period 1 8-8, Extra Period 2 10-5)
  2. Punjab (Eknoor Singh 16, Amaan Sandhu 14, Jaskaran Singh 12) bt Goa (Selwyn Coelho 4) 74-10 (30-6, 19-0, 10-0, 15-4)

Group F:

  1. Delhi (Himanshu 14, Aryan Goswami 8, Ashish 8) bt Tripura (Aftab Khan 12) 62-16 (26-6, 20-6, 12-0, 4-4)

About the 42nd Sub-Junior National Basketball Championship

The 42nd Sub-Junior National Basketball Championship is being organised in Puducherry from the 2nd to the 8th of February 2016 at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex. There are two indoor courts inside the complex, named Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium, along with one outdoor court in the complex dedicated to the tournament. This year’s event is being organised by the Puducherry Basketball Association under the aegis of the Basketball Federation of India. The Sub-Junior Nationals is an annual national tournament for U-14 boys’ and girls’ teams from states across India. This year’s tournament is witnessing the participation of 23 boys’ teams and 22 girls’ teams. Arise Steel is the main sponsor for the tournament.

The 41st Sub-Junior Nationals were conducted in Nashik, Maharashtra, where the Kerala girls and the MP boys emerged victorious clinching the gold medals. Chhattisgarh girls and boys were the second placed teams. The 2013 version tournament was conducted in Patna, Bihar. The Chhattisgarh teams won both the boys and the girls category that year, while the Madhya Pradesh boys and the Tamil Nadu girls finished runners-up respectively.

Vishnu Ravi Shankar
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