Hassan, Karnataka, 23rd November, 2016: The 33rd Youth National Basketball Championship 2016 saw knockout action begin today. Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh teams are through to the semifinals.

Karnataka Boys get to the Semifinals

Displaying tremendous grit and buoyed by the support of the Hassan public who thronged the stands, hosts Karnataka boys upset one of the tournament favourites Punjab in the quarterfinals, to book their spot in the semifinals.

“This is the first time that Karnataka boys have beaten Punjab at the U16 level. I believe that at the Senior level, Karnataka has beaten Punjab in the past,” said Karnataka Head Coach N Balakrishna after the win. “Punjab has two of the tallest players in the tournament, so 90% of our focus was on defence.”

“At least 20% of today’s victory should be credited to the crowd support Our players were tired because they haven’t got much rest [since Karnataka also played a pre-quarterfinal match earlier this morning]”

Karnataka led 17-15 at the end of the first quarter, and made energetic plays on both ends of the floor. Defensively, centre and team captain Pratyanshu Tomar registered multiple blocks against the much taller frontline of Princepal Singh and Jagshanbir Singh of Punjab.

On the offensive end, Mandya forward Srujan BK was exceptional in securing numerous offensive rebounds to give Karnataka second chance opportunities. At halftime though, Punjab had wrested back a slender 35-33 lead.

In the second half, point guard Prashant Tomar, who would top score with 27 points, continued his assault. The fearless guard kept driving into the paint, drawing the help defence and then passing to his teammates- Srujan, Akshay Prasad and Nakul RS, who were able to knock down their shots with relative ease.

At the end of the third quarter, Karnataka led 48-45, and midway into the fourth quarter managed to build a 10 point lead. In classic late game strategy, Punjab repeatedly committed fouls in a bid to regain possession. That approach worked to an extent as Punjab’s Manjot Singh and Vivek Chauhan were able to knock down three pointers. With 24 secs left in the match, Punjab had brought it back within 5 points, 64-69, but Srujan and Akshay showed great composure to knock down their freethrows for the final 71-64 win.

Akshay Prasad of Karnataka rises up for a corner jumpshot vs Punjab

Akshay Prasad of Karnataka rises up for a corner jumpshot vs Punjab

UP boys & MP girls bt Chhattisgarh teams

Last year’s joint defending champs, Chhattisgarh girls fell tamely to Madhya Pradesh in the quarterfinals. MP girls prevailed 71-38 in a surprisingly lopsided contest. Chhattisgarh led 14-10 at the end of the first quarter. But it was all MP from there on, as the side enjoyed 23-12, 21-8 and 17-4 scoring periods to close out the win.

Chhattisgarh boys fared much better than the girls, before eventually letting the game slip against a never-say-die UP boys team.  Chhattisgarh led comfortably, 67-53 with just 10 minutes remaining, before UP’s defence completely shut down Chhattisgarh.  On the other end, the side outscored Chhattisgarh 24-7 in the final period to memorably book their spot in the final four.

Kerala teams progress to semis at Rajasthan’s expense

Kerala girls overcame a lethargic first 15 minutes to ultimately win quite easily against Rajasthan girls. Rajasthan led 19-18 after the initial frame, thanks to some hot outside shooting. However, the disciplined and athletic Kerala soon found its rhythm led by the versatile forward Shreekala. After trying with Rajasthan early in the second quarter, Kerala steadily built up a double digit lead over the next 25 minutes, to win by a 19 point margin, 69-40.

Playing their second match in a single day, Rajasthan boys started off hot against the talented Kerala. India’s western frontier state led by double digits midway through the second quarter, thanks to some inspired play on both ends of the floor. Rajasthan’s athletic forwards registered multiple blocks to nearly shut down Kerala centre Sejin Mathew. At halftime, Rajasthan led 43-34. In the second half, Kerala’s backup centre Chacko Simon stepped up brilliantly for an off-colour Sejin to keep the side in the hunt. Guard Shaun Luiz and small forward Amal Reghu provided some much needed spark on both ends of the floor to reinvigorate the side. A 24-6 third quarter in favour of Kerala meant that Rajasthan was now on the backfoot. But with Kerala’s Sejin finally getting into the act, Rajasthan;s 18-23 scoring in the final 10 minutes proved too little too late.

UP girls knockout Karnataka

In the first girls’ quarterfinals, Karnataka girls lost to Uttar Pradesh 62-79. For Uttar Pradesh, captain Vaishnavi Yadav was unstoppable, scoring 30 points. For Karnataka, Aastha Vartak connected on 7 threes (21 points) but didn’t receive much scoring support from her teammates. Karnataka girls led 37-33 at the half, thanks to Vartak’s shooting, but in the third quarter, Uttar Pradesh clearly separated itself with a dominant 23-6 run.

Tamil Nadu teams win

In the battle of the joint defending champions from last year, Tamil Nadu boys ended the entertaining run of Delhi in the quarterfinals. Delhi led 20-15 at the end of the first quarter before Tamil Nadu boys completely controlled the next three periods, outscoring Delhi 78-51, to ultimately win by a 93-71 margin. Arvind Kumar top scored yet again for Tamil Nadu with 29 points, while Delhi saw Abhishek Sharma and Shubham Upreti score in double digits.

Tamil Nadu girls, meanwhile, made short work of Maharashtra, winning 79-41. As expected, TN centre Avanti Vardhan top scored with 24 points, with teammate T Dharshini contributing 19. For Maharashtra, Shreya Dandekar had 11 in the losing effort.

Earlier in the day: Karnataka boys and Rajasthan teams advance to quarterfinals

Early this morning, Karnataka boys beat Haryana 77-61 in the pre-quarterfinals. This win allowed them to progress to the quarterfinals will be played at 8pm later tonight versus Punjab. In the other boys prequarterfinals, Rajasthan bt Maharashtra 71-56. Rajasthan boys will now face Kerala in the quarterfinals at 5 pm.

In the girls’ prequarterfinals action, Maharashtra beat Gujarat 76-56 to book a quarterfinals date against Tamil Nadu.

Level 2 Loser’s Knockout

In lower level 2 action, Delhi girls and Odisha boys posted wins over Telangana’s teams, while Andhra Pradesh girls received a walkover from Bihar. The loser’s knockout is a separate tournament held for lower Level 2 teams which have failed to progress into the main draw. The purpose of this tournament, apart from competitive exposure to the teams, is to also ensure proper seeding for the next edition.

Results from Day 5 till 8:00 pm
Girls:
Level 1:

Quarterfinals

  1. Uttar Pradesh (Vaishnavi Yadav 30, Harshita Pandey 14, Shivani Gupta 10) bt Karnataka (Aastha Vartak 21, Harshitha KB 13, Aishwarya Basapur 11) 79-62 [21-21, 12-16, 23-6, 23-19]
  2. Kerala (Shreekala R 20, Jayalakshmi 14, Festy P Jose 10) bt Rajasthan (Yashika Singhal 10, Anjali Tiwari 9) 69-40 [18-19, 21-10, 13-4, 17-7]
  3. Madhya Pradesh (Divyani Gangwal 24, Isha Chouhan 22) bt Chhattisgarh (Elizabet Ekka 22) 71-38 [10-14, 23-12, 21-8, 17-4]
  4. Tamil Nadu (Avanti Vardhan 24, T Dharshini 19) bt Maharashtra (Shreya Dandekar 14, Khushi Dongre 11) 79-41 [21-14, 26-12, 11-6, 22-9]

Pre-quarterfinals

  1. Maharashtra (Durga D 21, Sidhi Kothavale 14) bt Gujarat (Anoushka Karshalia 17, Jahnavi Sreeram 8, Tanisha Shah 8)76-56 [23-12, 17-14, 20-18, 16-12]
  2. Rajasthan (Aparna Saini 25, Yashika Singhal 18) bt Punjab (Prabhjot Kaur 14, Sakshi Sharma 11, Karishma 10) 59-48[14-10, 16-9, 15-16, 14-13]
Level 2:

Loser’s Knockouts- Quarterfinals

* For Level 2 teams which have been knocked out of the main competition

  1. Delhi (Aarushi Gupta 14, Riya Rana 8) bt Telangana (Srivani 4) 34-7 [24-2, 4-5, 0-0, 6-0]
  2. Andhra Pradesh bt Bihar 20-0 (walkover)
Boys:
Level 1:

Quarterfinals

  1. Tamil Nadu (Arvind Kumar 29, Karna 21) bt Delhi (Abhishek Sharma 17, Shubham Upreti 11, Nitish Beniwal 9) 93-71[15-20, 33-21, 26-15, 19-15]
  2. Kerala (Amal Reghu 31, Chacko C Simon 22, Sejin Mathew 10) bt Rajasthan (Sumeet Kumar 15, Attaul Hussain 14) 81-67 [14-16, 20-27, 24-6, 23-18]
  3. Uttar Pradesh (Prasun 26, Bhagyansh Gulati 21, Priyanshu 20) bt Chhattisgarh (Salim Ali 18, Binod Rajak 16, Ayushman Singh 10) 77-74 [11-21, 20-24, 22-22, 24-7]
  4. Karnataka (Prashant Tomar 27, Akshay Prasad 16, Srujan BK 13) bt Punjab (Rajat Thaper 20, Vivek Chauhan 19) 71-64 [17-15, 16-20, 15-10, 23-19]

Pre-quarterfinals

  1. Karnataka (Prashant Tomar 17, Akshay Prasad S 11, Srujan BK 7) bt Haryana (Pankaj Ghanghas 32, Anil 7) 77-61 [20-15, 8-15, 20-13, 29-18]
  2. Rajasthan (Sumeet Kumar 24, Ashish Trivedi 18, Attaul Hussain 15) bt Maharashtra (Faisal Khan 25, Zaid Shaikh 14, Shamsher 11) 71-56 [12-7, 16-20, 20-6, 23-23]
Level 2:

Loser’s Knockouts- Quarterfinals

* For Level 2 teams which have been knocked out of the main competition

  1. Odisha (Sarat Nayak 33, Abhishek Pasupalak 16, SK Riaz 10) bt Telangana (Mithil Reddy 16, Prashant Singh 15, Aman Topno 11) 87-68 [15-9, 26-18, 21-24, 25-17]
About the 33rd Youth National Basketball Championship 2016

The 33rd Youth National Basketball Championship for U16 boys and girls is being held in Hassan, Karnataka from the 19th to the 26th of November, 2016.

The matches are being conducted at three venues – the indoor and outdoor courts of the Hasanamba Stadium and the courts of the Malnad College of Engineering.

The championship is being organised by Karnataka State Basketball Association (KSBBA) under the aegis of Basketball Federation of India (BFI). The inauguration ceremony will be held on Saturday, 19th November at 4:15 pm.

Championship Details

In total, 24 boys teams and 22 girls teams are participating in the eight day tournament.  As always, the teams have been divided into upper Level 1 and lower Level 2. Within each Level, the teams are further divided into Groups A & B (Level 1) and Groups C to F (for Level 2 teams).

This is a league cum knockout format, and as many as 122 matches will be played from early morning to late night. The top teams after the group stages will proceed to the knockout rounds. There is also a system of relegation/promotion whereby the bottom two Level 1 teams will get relegated to Level 2 for the next edition, replaced by the top two teams from Level 2.

Prior to the 2016 edition, 32 iterations of the Championship have been held so far. The 2015 edition was held in Bhavnagar & Anand in Gujarat. Due to incessant rains, the finals were washed out. As a result, Tamil Nadu and Delhi boys, and Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh girls were declared joint winners.

For media queries please contact

Mr Mohan Kumar (Karnataka State Basketball Association) – +91 9845479989

Mr Gopalakrishnan R (BFI Media team) – +91 8197235684

Team Ekalavyas
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