Rohtak, 2nd August 2016: The 1st All India Basketball Tournament for Men, Rohtak tipped off earlier this evening at the Rajiv Gandhi Sports Complex in Sector 6. The tournament is being organised by the Basketball Club of Haryana (BCH) under the aegis of the Haryana State Basketball Association and the Basketball Federation of India. Tournament favourites ONGC, Dehradun easily won the opening match against Indian Air Force 77-59.

Legends felicitated

Arjuna Awardee from Haryana Shri Ajmer Singh being presented a badge by current ONGC international Vishesh Bhriguvanshi.

Prior to the first match, an opening ceremony was held with Shri Chander Parkash (IAS), Commissioner, Rohtak as the chief guest. Sub Divisional Magistrate Rohtak Shri Nagpal was the guest of honour.

Also present were Arjuna awardees from Haryana Shri Om Prakash Sr. and Shri Ajmer Singh who were presented badges by current internationals Amritpal Singh and Vishesh Bhriguvanshi. Former India men’s captain Shri Darshan Singh was felicitated by current India international Yadwinder Singh. Mr HM Khan, FIBA Commissioner was also recognised.

Other distinguished guests included President of the BCH Shri Jasbir Singh, Sports Promotion Club (Kiloi) President Shri Satpal and its Secretary Shri Kulbir Hooda, Shri Inder Singh Hooda Principal (Retd) Jat College, Shri Mahender Singh Hooda, retired Deputy Sports Director (Rohtak), Master Surajmal Malik, organising secretary (BCH) Shri Sudhir Hooda and secretary (BCH) Adv. Navdeep.

Arjuna awardee from Haryana Om Prakash Sr being felicitated by current India International from ONGC Amritpal Singh.

Former India men’s captain Shri Darshan Singh was felicitated by current India international Yadwinder Singh.

Guests Shri Chander Parkash (IAS), Commissioner, Rohtak & SDM Rohtak Shri Nagpal being welcomed during the opening ceremony.

ONGC beats Indian Air Force 77-59

Air Force's Joginder Singh (from Bhiwani, Haryana) being guarded by ONGC's Amritpal Singh

Early tournament favourites ONGC, Dehradun had no trouble beating Indian Air Force in the opening game. The first half between the two teams was close, with ONGC leading 43-36, before the Dehradun side went on a 26-13 run in the 3rd quarter to break Air Force’s resolve.

In the first half, Air Force were well served by the athletic Nikhil Dayia and centre Rathee. The latter connected repeatedly on his elbow jumpers and from the freethrow line while Nikhil got some tough layups to fall.

However, the combined might of current internationals Vishesh, Amritpal and Yadwinder was too much to handle for the Air Force side. The near 7ft Amritpal had the run of the paint, including three huge dunks. One of the slams was so powerful that play had to be stopped to reset the ring.

While Amritpal buoyed the crowd with his throwdowns, playmaking guard Vishesh was at his clinical best notching up 21 points and the man of the match award.

ONGC Dehradun (Amritpal Singh 21, Vishesh Bhriguvanshi 21) bt Indian Air Force (P Rathee 20, Nikhil 10) 77-59 [18-15, 25-21, 26-13, 8-10]

Indian Army bt Basketball Club of Haryana (BCH) 87-60

Army's Ramesh makes the fadeaway jumpshot against Basketball Club of Haryana.

Similar to the ONGC, Dehradun team before them, Indian Army pulled away in the second half against the energetic hosts Basketball Club of Haryana to win their opening Group B game. Amandeep Singh of Army was named man of the match. Basketball Club of Haryana did well to keep punching above their weight in the first twenty minutes, but the seasoned Indian Army pulled away when it mattered the most, building on a 40-31 lead at halftime to finally win 87-60. For BCH, guards Pravin and Aaditya top scored with 13 and 10 points respectively.

Indian Army (Dalip 18, Amandeep Singh 12, Pramod 11, Ramesh 11) bt Basketball Club of Haryana (Pravin 13, Aaditya 10) 87-60 [21-13, 19-18, 19-13, 28-16]

About the 1st All India Basketball Tournament, Rohtak (Haryana)

There are 8 participating men’s club teams:

  • ONGC, Dehradun (Group A)
  • Indian Railways (Group B)
  • Punjab (Group B)
  • Indian Army (Group B)
  • Income Tax, Chennai (Group A)
  • Indian Air Force (Group A)
  • Haryana (Group A)
  • Basketball Club of Haryana (Group B)

The teams have been divided into two preliminary groups A and B. Matches are being played in a league cum knockout basis every day from 4pm to 10pm in the indoor hall of the Rajiv Gandhi Sports Complex in Rohtak. The top two teams from each Group progress to the semifinals, followed by the finals on 6th August.

This is a prize money tournament and the winning team will receive INR 1,00,000/- and a trophy while the runners up get INR 50,000/-. Additionally, every man of the match will be awarded INR 2100/- and the tournament most valuable player (MVP) will get INR 5100/-. Individual winners will also receive trophies, and additionally the MVP will be gifted a full Rido basketball set.

The tournament sponsors are Shiv Naresh, LPS Bossard, Kalinga University (Naya Raipur, Chhattisgarh), Pahli Khabar, Desan International (‘Rido’), D2M Hotel, Disha and Scholars Rosary.

Stars playing and in attendance

The stars who are in action include current India internationals such as Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, Amritpal Singh, Yadwinder Singh (ONGC), Haryana’s very own Joginder Singh (Indian Air Force), Akilan Pari and Rikin Pethani (Income Tax, Chennai). The former internationals include Trideep Rai, Riyazuddin, Mohit Bhandari, Anoop Mukkaniyil, Shabeer Ahamed, Riyazuddin and R Murali Krishna (all ONGC).

Arjuna awardees Shri Om Prakash Sr. and Shri Ajmer Singh will be in attendance throughout the event, as well as Dhyand Chand Awardees Shri Ram Kumar and Smt Aparna Ghosh.

About Basketball Club of Haryana (BCH)

The Basketball Club of Haryana was founded in August 2015 with the aim of promoting basketball in the state. The 25 founding members include many coaches, players and physios.

About Haryana Basketball

Haryana is an emerging basketball powerhouse in India. In the 2014-15 Senior National Basketball Championship held in Bhilwara, Rajasthan, the men’s team made a historic run to the semifinals after upsetting Punjab for the first time in history. The last few years has also seen the rise of guards Narender Grewal and Joginder Singh into the Senior Indian men’s team. They both hail from Bamla village in Bhiwani district. Subsequently, at the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship guard Vikas Kumar (from Dablain village in Jind District) was selected in the senior Indian team. The current junior Indian team at the 24th FIBA Asia Championship for U18 Men featured two Haryana players- Deepak (Israna Tehsil in Panipat Dist.) and Sahil (Kalka Tehsil in Panchkula Dist.). At the youth (U16) level in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship there was one Haryana player each in the boys and girls sections: Ankit Joshi (from Faridabad) and Namrata Hooda (from Kiloi Khas village in Rohtak Dist.). At the national level, Haryana’s younger age group teams, both in the boys and girls, consistently finish among India’s elite Level 1 states.

Gopalakrishnan R
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