Hassan, Karnataka, 25th November, 2016: The 33rd Youth National Basketball Championship 2016 witnessed some high quality semifinals action this evening.

Both the Kerala teams, Uttar Pradesh boys and Tamil Nadu girls have progressed to the summit round.

Kerala bt Tamil Nadu Boys 87-50

In a virtual repeat of their league round head-to-head, Kerala boys yet again enjoyed a comfortable win over Tamil Nadu boys, leading pretty much from start to finish.

Kerala began on a 12-0 run, before K Surya finally broke Tamil Nadu’s scoring drought with a solitary freethrow. Defensively, Kerala’s athletic centre and captain Sejin Mathew was a dominating presence in the paint, repeatedly swatting away Tamil Nadu’s drive in attempts. At the end of the first period Kerala led 22-9.

The second quarter saw some breakdown of plays from both teams. Tamil Nadu began the period by spreading the floor well, playing a 5 out offence against Kerala’s man to man defence. This gave Tamil Nadu’s shorter players space to slash to the rim or else pull up from the outside. TN outscored Kerala 23-21 in the second frame to go into halftime trailing Kerala 32-43.

That seemed to be just the wakeup call the talented Kerala side needed, as they elevated their play by yet another notch in the second half. Kerala gained complete control of the game winning the next two periods 24-10 and 20-8, to win by a decisive 37 point margin.

Kerala top scorer Amal Reghu continued his fine run of form vs Tamil Nadu in the semis of the Youth Nationals 2016

Kerala top scorer Amal Reghu continued his fine run of form vs Tamil Nadu in the semis of the Youth Nationals 2016

Tamil Nadu bt Uttar Pradesh Girls 75-50

In the first quarter, both teams struggled to get into a flow offensively, but Tamil Nadu was tough inside.  Their strong rebounding led to some offensive putbacks and fast breaks for easy buckets, giving them a 9 point lead at the end of the first.

The second quarter started off evenly as both teams made it hard for the other to score.  Tamil Nadu maintained its lead, 31-21, at the half.  Star UP shooting guard Vaishnavi Yadav, led her team’s scoring with 9 points in the first half.

The third quarter saw UP making a push led by point guard Shivani Gupta who had 8 of her 11 points in the quarter, including 2 big three-pointers.  However, the superior interior play of Tamil Nadu, led by captain Avanti Vardhan and S. Pushpa, limited the comeback.  UP eventually closed the margin to 5, 46-41.

In the fourth quarter, the defence and hustle plays by K Priya and T Darshani of Tamil Nadu forced a couple missed opportunities for UP, leading to fast breaks and easy buckets for Tamil Nadu, whom quickly extended the lead.  After UP star Vaishavi Yadav fouled out of the game, UP was unable to put together a strong comeback and eventually fell 75-50.

Kerala bt Madhya Pradesh Girls 77-72

Kerala girls survived a massive scare from Madhya Pradesh before eventually pulling off the heartstopping win.

Madhya Pradesh girls started off brilliantly on both ends of the floor, building up a 17-13 first quarter lead. MP’s bigs were able to contain Kerala’s superstar centre Shreekala from causing too much damage in the paint early. MP’s Divyani Gangwal, Isha Couhan and Divya Sam ran their side’s offence early, capitalising on the slow recovery of Kerala and other own defensive work, to score easy points in transition.

At halftime, MP led 31-28.

In the third quarter, Kerala’s offensive woes continued. MP’s players showed high IQ guarding Kerala’s players in the paint, not allowing their feet to leave the ground and walling up against any shot attempts. This quarter too was won by MP, 20-16.

Two minutes into the fourth quarter, MP led by as many as 11 points, 55-44, before the much awaited scoring spurt by Kerala finally came to be. Led by a monstrous 19 points by Shreekala, Kerala was finally able to break MP’s defensive shackles. With around 3 minutes left, MP’s key playmaker Divyani got fouled out and in her absence MP tried its best to reimpose its will on the match. But ultimately, there was no denying this talented Kerala side a spot in the finals.

Uttar Pradesh bt Karnataka Boys 77-63

After playing inspired and tireless basketball in front of a hugely supportive homecrowd, Karnataka’s campaign finally came to an end at the hands of Uttar Pradesh.

Uttar Pradesh, which had recorded a come from behind victory over Chhattisgarh in the quarterfinals, continued to show nerves of steel. The side raced away to an 18-9 first quarter lead.

In the second quarter, Karnataka started mounting a comeback, with back to back buckets by guard Akshay Prasad. UP though still managed to hold onto a two possession lead, at 33-27 going into halftime.

In the third quarter, Karnataka finally managed to wrest control, capitalizing on second chance opportunities thanks to captain centre Pratyanshu Tomar and forward Srujan BK. Srujan though would be forced to the bench with four fouls. On its part, UP was guilty of taking too many contested shots. Suddenly, everything was going Karnataka’s way, as it tied the game at 57-57.

However, in the final 10 minutes UP regrouped admirably, while Karnataka’s mistakes mounted. Karnataka guard Prashant Tomar was unable to recreate his high scoring magic from the quarterfinals win over Punjab. Numerous sloppy turnovers from Karnataka followed, as UP continued to execute their plays to near perfection.

The Cinderella run had finally ended for Karnataka as UP set up a finals clash vs Kerala.

Priyanshu of UP attempts a fadeaway jumpshot in the paint vs Karnataka at the Youth Nationals 2016

Priyanshu of UP attempts a fadeaway jumpshot in the paint vs Karnataka at the Youth Nationals 2016

Results from Day 7 (25th November)
Level 1

Semifinal matches

  1. Tamil Nadu (Avanti Vardhan 21, T Dharshini 18, S Pushpa 13) bt Uttar Pradesh (Vaishnavi Yadav 16, Shivani Gupta 11) 75-50 [21-12, 10-9, 15-20, 29-9]
  2. Kerala (Shreekala R 36, Anagha Shaji 14, Aparna Sadasivan 10) bt Madhya Pradesh (Isha Chouhan 21, Divyani Gangwal 18, Divya Sam 15) 77-72 [13-17, 15-14, 16-20, 33-21]
Level 1:

Semifinal matches

  1. Kerala (Amal Reghu 30, Sejin Mathew 17) bt Tamil Nadu (L Karna 15, R Akash 10) 87-50 [22-9, 21-23, 24-10, 20-8]
  2.     Uttar Pradesh (Priyanshu 28, Bhagyansh Gulati 10) bt Karnataka (Akshay Prasad 22, Pratyanshu Tomar 18, Prashant Tomar 10) 77-63 [18-9, 15-18, 17-24, 27-12]
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.

About Basketball Federation of India

The Basketball Federation of India or BFI is the governing and controlling body of basketball in India, and is responsible for the development and promotion of the sport at all levels. BFI has been involved in conducting camps, clinics, events, and training sessions at its academies for the development of basketball. BFI came into being in 1935 and took complete control over Indian basketball in 1950. Prior to that time, the Indian Olympic Association handled the conduct of Indian basketball championships. Since 1950, the BFI has been conducting various such championships, from the grassroots to senior team participation in international tournaments. In addition, the BFI has been responsible for the establishment of strong sub-junior and junior level programs. The BFI has to its credit produced several international players of repute, among them 17 have been bestowed with the honour of Arjuna Awards. Earlier in June 2015, 19-year-old Satnam Singh Bhamara made history by becoming the first Indian national to be drafted by an NBA team, when he was selected by the Dallas Mavericks. More information at www.basketballfederationindia.org

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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