Bengaluru, 21st October 2016: The Vijaya Bank organised 3rd Mulki Sunder Ram Shetty All India Basketball Tournament for Men 2016 entered its final day of league matches at Kanteerava Indoor Stadium in the city.  The tournament is being conducted under the aegis of the Basketball Federation of India and the Karnataka State Basketball Association.

From Group A, Indian Bank has joined Vijaya Bank in the semifinals. From Group B, Customs & Central Excise Kochi and Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT), Chennai are through to the final four.

Indian Bank bt Integral Coach Factory, Chennai 68-51

Sandeep of Indian Bank combined well with Hariram to beat ICF. Sandeep is seen here about to make an interior pass to Hariram.

Indian Bank, Chennai has booked its spot in the semifinals after winning its second and final Group A league match against city rivals Integral Coach Factory. Both these teams had lost their opening games to hosts Vijaya Bank, and this was a win-or-go-home game in the context of securing a spot in the knockouts.

The desperation showed first in the case of ICF, which was aggressive on the defensive end and in terms of pushing the ball up the floor. ICF also had a measure of Indian Bank on the inside and were able to repeatedly back down their rival forwards for multiple points in the paint. At the end of the first quarter, ICF led 18-13.

In the second frame, the scales started tilting in favour of the young Indian Bank side and the scoring were tied 31-31 at halftime. Starting point guard, P Baladhaneshwar, who is the captain of the Indian U18 boys team sat out in the third, and in his absence, senior India debutant Hariram Ragupathy and Sandeep stepped up big time. There was no stopping the duo, as between them they scored 24 of the team’s 30 third quarter points.

ICF, Chennai struggled to connect in the woeful third period, scoring only 9 points to allow Indian Bank a 61-40 overall lead. Seenivasan top scored for ICF with 24 points, but that was not nearly enough to prevent Indian Bank winning easily, 68-51.

Indian Bank has now progressed to the semifinals as the second best team from Group A behind Vijaya Bank, which is already through to the final four. ICF, Chennai will head back home wondering what just happened in that forgettable third quarter.

Indian Bank (Hariram Ragupathy 26, Sandeep 20) bt Integral Coach Factory, Chennai (Seenivasan 24, Anthony 12) 68-51 [13-18, 18-13, 30-9, 7-11]

SDAT, Chennai bt Kerala State Electricity Board 79-46

R Karthick of SDAT Chennai in action against KSEB.

The deep and disciplined Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT), Chennai team was too much to handle for Kerala State Electricity Board which fell to its third straight defeat to get knocked out of the competition.

SDAT meanwhile has finished 2-1 in Group B and is through to the semis. KSEB is knocked out.

The young SDAT, Chennai squad has been impressive throughout this tournament, starting with its close 2 point loss in the opening game to Customs, followed by the win over President’s 11 yesterday. Today, they exploded off the gate against a beleaguered KSEB, raking up a 23-9 lead at the end of the first quarter. Southpaw Justin led the charge yet again for SDAT with 17 points, while for KSEB, the two Aruns scored in double digits. While KSEB matched SDAT in the second and fourth quarters, the damage caused in the intervening periods was too much to overcome.

SDAT, Chennai (Justin 17, R Karthick 15) bt Kerala State Electricity Board (Arun 13, Arun Babu 12) 79-46 [23-9, 18-18, 26-7, 12-12]

Customs and Central Excise, Kochi bt President’s 11, Karnataka

Eudrick Pereira makes a spin move on the baseline against President's 11 Karnataka.

Customs and Central Excise, Kochi started slow before settling into a nice rhythm to beat President’s 11, Karnataka in their final Group B league match. With this win Customs has gone 3-0 to coast into the semifinals as the top team from their Group. President’s 11, Karnataka (1-2) is now out of the tournament. The side had intervals where they matched Customs shot for shot, showing they can run with the big boys. But the seasoned Kochi side had done more than enough in the second quarter (outscoring President’s 11, 31 to 9) to get the easy win.

Kochi Customs will now face Group A’s second placed team Indian Bank in tomorrow’s second semifinals.

Customs and Central Excise, Kochi (Manoj 13, Shinumon 11) bt President’s 11, Karnataka (Shivraj 17, Akash 11) 74-58 [16-19, 31-9, 12-15, 15-15]

KNOCK-OUT FIXTURES
22nd October 2016 – Saturday
5:00 pm I Match – Vijaya Bank vs SDAT, Chennai

6:30 pm II Match – Customs and Central Excise, Kochi vs Indian Bank 

23rd October 2016 – Sunday
FINALS

About the Tournament

Venue: Kanteerava Indoor Stadium in Bengaluru

Dates: 19th to 23rd October 2016

The tournament is being held in the memory of the Late Shri Mulki Sunder Ram Shetty, a longstanding former Chairman of Vijaya Bank, who was instrumental in the growth of the bank through the 60s and 70s.

Matches are being played every evening on a league cum knockout basis. There are 7 teams in the fray in this tournament, divided into two Groups. The top two teams from each Group will progress to the semifinals followed by the finals.

This edition of the tournament is featuring some of the nation’s top men’s club sides such as hosts Vijaya Bank, Central Excise & Customs-Kochi, Indian Bank, Integral Coach Factory (ICF)-Chennai, Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT)-Chennai and Karnataka State team (‘President’s 11’).

The following are the 13 international players who are participating: Indian Bank (Hariram- Senior India; Moses Jeevananth- Junior India; P Baladhaneshwar- Junior India), Vijaya Bank (Arvind Arumugam, Rajesh Uppar, Sanjay Raj- Senior India; S Karthickeyan- Junior India), Kerala State Electricity Board (Sreerag N Nair- Junior India, Arun Harikumar- Youth India), Cochin Customs (Eudrick Pereira, Basil Philip, Monish Wilson- Senior India), President’s 11, Karnataka (Guruprasad Nayak- Junior India).

Past Edition Details

The inaugural edition of the tournament was held in 2014 in Malleshwaram, with Indian Overseas Bank (IOB)-Chennai, ONGC, Vijaya Bank and Karnataka State finishing as the top four teams respectively.

The 2nd edition was held in 2015 at the Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, Bengaluru. Income Tax-Chennai emerged winners, with ONGC, Vijaya Bank and Kerala State Electricity Board rounding off the top four.

Vijaya Bank- A proud heritage in basketball

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 1984. 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.

Gopalakrishnan R
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