In a decisive set of matches, Group B teams Indian Railway and Indian Army, and Group A’s ONGC, Dehradun and Income Tax, Chennai are through to the semifinals, with perfect 2-0 records.
Even though all 4 semifinalists have been decided, tomorrow’s final round of league matches will still be crucial in terms of decided the toppers of both groups and consequently the semifinal matchups for day after tomorrow.
Mr Pradeep Kumar, Additional Deputy Commissioner (Rohtak) was the first guest for the day. Later on Shri Ved Parkash Sheoran, Principal of Government College, Rohtak and Master Rampal Arya, Mahamantri of Arya Pratinidhi Sabha, Haryana were greeted warmly by participating teams. Finally Professor Pardeep Rana from Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak was present for the final match of the day.
Indian Army bt Punjab 86-70
Day 2 action began with Punjab taking on Indian Army. After a strongly contested first three quarters, Indian Army broke away in the last 10 minutes to go 2-0, while Punjab is now 0-2 and certain to not progress to the knockout stages, with one league match still remaining. Vishal of Indian Army was named man of the match.
Indian Army (Gopal Ram 21, Ramesh 18, Amandeep 9) bt Punjab (Mandeep Singh 18, Sahil 14, Rahul Mehla 12) 86-70 [21-24, 22-20, 26-13, 17-13]
Indian Railway bt Basketball Club of Haryana 70-39
Indian Railway had an easy outing against hosts Basketball Club of Haryana (BCH). Unlike yesterday, when BCH fought hard, today the match was one sided. Railway had a spectacular first quarter of 27-7, and continued to outscore BCH in the remaining three quarters. BCH performed better in the second half, scoring 21 points as against 26 for Indian Railway, but the mismatch in the first twenty minutes meant that Railway coasted to a clear 31 point win. Aaditya of BCH was named man of the match.
Indian Railway (Somveer 14, Gagan 12, Himanshu Sharma 11, Ajay Pratap 11) bt Basketball Club of Haryana (Sachin 11, Aaditya 8) 70-39 [27-7, 17-11, 14-13, 12-8]
ONGC Dehradun bt Haryana 82-66
Overcoming some loud home support to Haryana, ONGC Dehradun kept their composure and became the first team to progress to the semifinals from Group A. Haryana’s international guard Vinay Kaushik fought valiantly, including an impossible three pointer at the halftime buzzer. But ONGC still held a 40-34 lead going into the second half. Current India international Vishesh Bhriguvanshi showed his class yet again with a mammoth 33 points. Former international Riyazuddin had a man of the match worthy 18 points, while another current international Yadwinder Singh was effective on both ends of the floor.
Haryana competed extremely hard yesterday against Income Tax, Chennai and today against ONGC, and can be considered unlucky to still remain winless. With back to back losses, Haryana is now out of contention of making the semifinals, but will be looking to end on a positive note against Indian Air Force tomorrow.
ONGC, Dehradun (Vishesh Bhriguvanshi 33, Riyazuddin 18, Yadwinder Singh 14) bt Haryana (Vinay 13, Pradeep 12, Deepak 12) 82-66 [25-17, 15-17, 28-18, 16-14]
Income Tax, Chennai bt Indian Air Force 67-62
Playing late in the evening, Income Tax Chennai won a very crucial Group A game against Indian Air Force to qualify to the semifinals. Coming into this match, Air Force was smarting from an opening loss against ONGC, while Income Tax had beaten home team Haryana.
This match was a fascinating contest between two very different teams. The Air Force came with a full contingent 12 players, a head coach and assistant coach, while Income Tax, Chennai is fielding just 7 players with no coaching staff.
But as it turned out this match wasn’t about bench strength or off court strategists, as Income Tax prevailed 67-62. Air Force coach Jora Singh was heard early getting agitated at a few calls not going his team’s way. The calm and collected Chennai side went about their business without a fuss, raking up a 17-10 lead at halftime. Air Force retaliated in the second quarter, and again in the fourth, mainly through Haryana guard Joginder and forward Ashutosh. But they were countered by current internationals Rikin Pethani and Akilan Pari. Centre Rikin proved especially unstoppable for the second straight match, scoring a high 27 points to prove himself an early tournament most valuable player (MVP) contender. In the end, despite a late rally by Air Force, Chennai prevailed 67-62.
Rightly so, Rikin Pethani was named player of the match.
With Chennai’s win, they have joined ONGC (both 2-0) in the knockout stage, while Indian Air Force and Haryana (both 0-2) have been knocked out.
Income Tax, Chennai (Joginder Singh 16, Ashutosh Rai 15) bt Indian Air Force (Rikin Pethani 27, Akilan Pari 13) 67-62 [17-10, 10-14, 24-16, 16-22]
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.