*Images by Adarsh Dadala Rao.

Champions Mumbai University receive their trophies and medals.

Champions Mumbai University receive their trophies and medals.

Mumbai, 28th February 2016: The UBAU All India Inter-Zonal University Basketball Championship for Men 2016 concluded a short while ago at the indoor stadium in Mumbai University (Kalina Campus). Hosts University of Mumbai were crowned champions at home, beating Anna Univesity, Chennai 64-61.

“We are winning the University Championship after a gap of 25 years,” an ecstatic Mumbai Coach Gurudutt Nayak said after the win. Ms Poonam Mahajan, BJP MP and President of the Maharashtra State Basketball Association was the chief guest on the occasion. Other dignitaries present on the occasion were Mr Niranjan Hiranandani, co-founder and Managing Director of the Hiranandani Group, Dr UN Kendre, Sports Director (Mumbai University), Mr Krishnan Govind Muthukumar, Secretary (MSBA), Mr Dhananjay Velukar, Chairman, Technical Committee (MSBA), Ms Manjula Nichani, Principal of Kishinchand Chellaram college, Mumbai, Dr Rajkumar, Sports Director (Punjabi University) and Mr Rakesh Malik, Association of Indian Universities (AIU) Observer distributed the trophies and medals to the winning team.

Also present on the occasion were UBAU senior executives, Mr Joe Damsker, Mr Robert Clawson and Ms Sunday Zeller, among others.

Earlier in the morning, University of Madras beat southern opponents SRM University, Chennai to finish third. All the members of the championship team got XOLO Era 4k phones and a cash prize of INR 1,00,000/- sponsored by UBAU. University of Mumbai’s Samson Sandhu was named tournament most valuable player (MVP), Sanket Kalbhor (University of Mumbai) won the best defender award, and Anna University centre P Vijay was named the “best shooter” of the Championship.

First runners up Anna University, Chennai got a cash prize of INR 50,000/-, and second runners up University of Madras received INR 25000/-. All cash prizes were sponsored by UBAU.

Final Standings

  • University of Mumbai
  • Anna University, Chennai
  • University of Madras, Chennai
  • SRM University, Chennai

University of Mumbai bt Anna University, Chennai

Championship's most valuable player Samson Sandhu of University of Mumbai in action during the finals against Anna University, Chennai

Championship’s most valuable player Samson Sandhu of University of Mumbai in action during the finals against Anna University, Chennai

Hosts University of Mumbai took on Anna University, Chennai in the national championship game of the UBAU All India Inter-Zonal University Championship for Men 2016. The teams came in boasting of distinct styles of play. Anna University, with their superior size right from shooting guard Muin Bek to centre Vijay Parthasarathy; while Mumbai has a more balanced attack albeit is undersized in the post.

The first quarter began with a bang for both teams. Anna Univ.’s Muin Bek knocked down a three to tip off proceedings, followed by Maharashtra’s star guard Samson Sandhu going high off the glass for two points. Just like the semi-finals against Madras University, Anna University started with a traditional line up of two guards and three forwards; and just like the semifinals, this line up let them down, with the guards unable to create quality offense for their “bigs” to exploit. The Mumbai forwards, who had it relatively easy yesterday against SRM University in the semis, had their work cut out against the vaunted frontline of Anna University. Nevertheless, Mumbai led 16-14 at the half.

In the second quarter, Anna University finally made the key substitution of bringing in forward Harish in place of guard Rohith, and immediately the move paid dividends, with two back to back scoring possessions in the paint. Matters were made worse for Mumbai with their foul trouble, as they went over the team foul limit with 4:10 mins still left in the second quarter. A monster rejection by substitute Harish followed, as Anna University started moving the ball better. From the sidelines, losing semifinalists from Chennai, SRM University vociferously countered the home support being received by Mumbai. But a Sandhu three pointer kept Mumbai ahead at the half, 30-26.

The third quarter began with Anna unable to convert despite getting into good positions in the paint. A lot of the credit to this should also go to the smaller Mumbai defenders, especially Ashraf Siddique, for stripping their taller opponents the moment they brought the ball down below their shoulders. On offense Mumbai were moving the ball well to stretch the floor and take advantage of the taller slower players. Offensively Anna’s Muin Bek drained a three to bring them within 2 points, 33-35, of Mumbai with 6:24 mins left in the period. Coming out of a timeout, Anna battled some no calls by the referees to take the lead for the first time in the game. Harish remained aggressive on both ends of the floor to take Anna University up by 6 points late in Q3. But a fortuitous banked three pointer by Qureshi brought Mumbai within three points to end the third period trailing 45-48.

Big players come good in the clutch, and so was the case with former junior India shooting guard Samson Sandhu, who stepped up for Mumbai in the fourth quarter. The smooth as silk player, who has been consistently scoring through the tournament, took over proceedings for Mumbai in the fourth. A deft left hand layup brought his team within one point. Soon Anna University were dealt a big blow with forward Harish getting fouled out. On the other end Mumbai’s efficient centre Sanket Kalbhor too got fouled out. Anna was dealt a further blow with their star centre Vijay Parthasarathy too getting fouled out. That was all the space that Mumbai guard Sandhu needed to take over proceedings. First, with a three to tie the game at 60-60, thanks to a turnover by Muin Bek, followed by a couple of made freethrows. A last ditch three point attempt by Sushil Vasan of Anna University was no good, as Mumbai University closed out the 64-61 win.

First Runners up Anna University.

First Runners up Anna University.

Final Day Results

Finals: University of Mumbai (Samson Sandhu 25 pts, Sanket Kalbhor 21 pts & 11 rbs, Ashraf Siddique 11 pts & 14 rbs) bt Anna University, Chennai (Venkatesh ) 64-61 [16-14, 14-12, 15-22, 19-13]

3rd-4th Place Match: University of Madras (Justin Gnana Raj 21 pts & 11 rbs, Sandeep D 17 pts, Anto Bethle 16) bt SRM University (Shashank Rai 30 pts & 10 rbs, Susyl Paul 17 pts, Arun Harikumar 11 pts) 81-75 [22-21, 24-14, 14-14, 21-26]

About the UBA Universities (UBAU) All India Inter-Zonal University Championship for Men 2016

UBAU is the flagship University sports development programme being run by the Universal Basketball Alliance India Pvt Ltd. UBAU has acquired the rights to conduct the All India Inter-Zonal University Championship under the aegis of Association of Indian Universities (AIU). The top four teams from each zone: north, south, east and west qualify to the inter-zonal championship and are divided into four pools of four teams each. The matches are being played on a league cum knockout basis. The top two teams from each pool after the league stages qualify to the knockout rounds: quarterfinals, semis, followed by the finals.

This year the participating teams are:

Pool A

  1. [N-1] Punjab University, Chandigarh
  2. [W-2] Savitribai Phule University, Pune (Maharashtra)
  3. [E-3] KIIT University, Bhubaneswar (Odisha)
  4. [S-4] Madras University, Chennai (Tamil Nadu)

Pool B

  1. [S-1] SRM University, Chennai (Tamil Nadu)
  2. [E-2] Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh)
  3. [N-3] Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra (Haryana)
  4. [W-4] Rajasthan University, Jaipur (Rajasthan)

Pool C

  1. [W-1] Mumbai University, Mumbai (Maharashtra)
  2. [N-2] Delhi University, Delhi
  3. [S-3] Kerala University, Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala)
  4. [E-4] Utkal University, Bhubaneswar (Odisha)

Pool D

  1. [E-1] Pandit Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur (Chhattisgarh)
  2. [S-2] Anna University, Chennai (Tamil Nadu)
  3. [W-3] Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University, Nagpur (Maharashtra)
  4. [N-4] Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritstar (Punjab)

For more championship updates visit: www.indianinsanity.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/IndianInsanity1 Twitter: @IndianInsanity

About Association of Indian Universities (AIU)

The idea of bringing together all the universities on a common platform emerged from the deliberations of a Conference of the Vice Chancellors of Universities convened by Lord Reading, the then Viceroy of India at Shimla in 1924. The Inter-University Board (IUB) of India was subsequently formed on March 23, 1925, with the view of promoting university activities, especially by way of sharing information and co-operation in the field of education, culture, sports and allied areas. The Inter-University Board acquired a legal status with its registration in 1967 as a Society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. In 1973, it assumed its present name: The Association of Indian Universities (AIU). The membership includes traditional universities, open universities, professional universities, Institutes of National Importance and deemed-to-be universities. In addition, there is a provision of granting of Associate Membership to universities of neighbouring countries.

Gopalakrishnan R
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