• The tournament  features some of India’s top men’s club teams such as Vijaya Bank, Indian Customs (Pune), Indian Navy (Lonavala) and Income Tax (Chennai).
  • The venue for the tournament is the recently constructed Beagles Indoor Basketball Stadium, Malleswaram.
  • Cash prizes of Rs. 1,00,000/-, Rs. 50,000/-, Rs. 25,000/- and Rs. 10,000/- are up for grabs for the top four teams.

 

Bengaluru, 23rd August 2018: The 5th edition of the Mulki Sunder Ram Shetty All India Basketball Tournament, organised by Vijaya Bank, tipped off yesterday at the Beagles Indoor Basketball Stadium, Malleswaram.

The tournament is being played in a league cum knockout format, with seven teams divided into two groups, and the top two of each group qualifying for the semi-finals.

Group A teams: Integral Coach Factory (ICF) – Chennai, Indian Navy – Lonavala, Karnataka State Team

Group B teams: Vijaya Bank, Income Tax – Chennai, Indian Customs – Pune, Telangana State Team

Along with trophies, cash prizes of Rs. 1,00,000/- for the winners, Rs. 50,000/- for the runners up, Rs. 25,000/- and Rs. 10,000 for the 3rd and 4th place teams respectively, have been announced by Vijaya Bank. Besides these, awards such as the ‘Best player of the tournament’, ‘Most promising player’ and ‘Best defensive player’ are up for grabs.

Vijaya Bank beat Indian Customs (Pune) 100-77

Hosts Vijaya Bank started their campaign in Group B against Indian Customs, Pune who were playing their debut game of the tournament. Customs (Pune) were headed by their powerful backcourt duo of Ajinkya Mane alongside former Indian Team guard Siddhant Shinde. Meanwhile, Vijaya Bank’s offense was facilitated by their former international guard Rajesh Uppar (who had missed the previous edition of the tournament due to a knee injury) alongside fellow internationals Arvind Arumugam and Anil Kumar.

Vijaya Bank had a dominant start to the game leading 10-0 in the first two minutes with guard Anil Kumar scoring 6 very quick points off fastbreaks but Customs came storming back into the game with some great passing and cutting the lead to just one point. Point guard Rajesh Uppar orchestrated Vijaya Bank’s offense beautifully as they ended the quarter leading 28-21.

The 2nd quarter started with Shinde and Mane scoring back to back baskets thanks to some good ball movement from the Customs team. But Vijaya Bank answered right back with some good offensive showing from  Arvind Arumugam and regained a comfortable double digit lead midway in the 2nd quarter. Anil Kumar and Siddhant Shinde exchanged couple of threes between them but then a three by Mane followed by a fastbreak reverse layup cut the lead back to just 4 points. Vijaya Bank displayed beautiful ball movement on the second last play of the quarter which led to an open three. But Ajinkya Mane answered back with a three of his own with only 5 seconds left on the game to trail Vijaya Bank 45-51 at the half.

The 3rd quarter started with Siddhant Shinde taking charge and getting his team back into the game but Anil Kumar stepped up for the host team draining 3 three pointers in this quarter itself and had some great defensive stops which he converted at the other end of the floor. Forward Clinton Andrew of Vijaya Bank entered the game with two blocks on back to back possessions and he shifted the momentum of the game completely in favour of the hosts with a monstrous block on Ajinkya Mane.

Forward Karthik Saminathan of Vijaya Bank started the 4th quarter in style with a huge fastbreak dunk. Later Anil Kumar went into his bag of tricks and pulled off a sweet between the legs move to get the crowd on its feet and followed it with a corner three to make it an 18 point game in favour of Vijaya Bank midway through the final quarter. Hosts Vijaya Bank held on to their lead and finished the game at 100-77.

Final score: Vijaya Bank 100 ( Anil Kumar 27 pts, Harish M 21 pts) beat Indian Customs(Pune) 77 (Siddhant Shinde 41 pts, Edvin 14 pts) [28-21, 23-24, 30-27, 19-05]

Indian Navy (Lonavala) beat I.C.F Chennai 89-51

The second game of the day turned out to be an eye opener for the previous edition runners-up I.C.F Chennai as the Indian Navy team from Lonavala displayed some great athleticism which the ICF team was not able to match up to. Indian Navy displayed great confidence on the floor in their debut match of the tournament under the leadership of Indian team guard Mahipal Singh.

Indian Navy started the game with some great ball movement and beautifully structured plays to get the ball to their big man Vivek Goti who scored 10 of his 14 points in the first quarter itself and was all over the offensive board.

Moving to the 2nd quarter I.C.F was still unable to match up to the speed and athleticism that was on display by the Indian Navy team. Guard Mandeep Singh took charge for Indian Navy in the second quarter scoring in double digits with some exciting finishes under the basket as a result of the unselfish playmaking of his team and gaining a 24 point lead at the end of the first half.

In the 3rd quarter Indian Navy showed some slack on defense as they rested most of their starters in the beginning of this quarter. This turned out to be the best quarter for the I.C.F team as their shooting guard K. Mukunth got a couple of three pointers going but still were outscored by the Indian Navy bench and trailed 42-68 at the end of the 3rd quarter.

4th quarter started with some hustle from I.C.F but they were still unable to convert their shots and missed a lot of open shots from behind the three point line. Meanwhile Indian Navy had a comfortable 26 point lead to begin the quarter which they increased even further and finished the game at 89-51.

Final score: Indian Navy 89 (Vivek Goti 14 pts, A. J. Thomas 14 pts) beat I.C.F. Chennai 51 (G.A. Anto Bethle 15 pts, C. Praveen Kumar 10 pts)

 

Income Tax, Chennai beat Telangana State Team 89-67

The final game of the day saw some great hustle and competition between the current favourites Income Tax team and another debutant to the tournament, the Telangana state team. Income Tax, Chennai had all the odds aligned towards them with a roster filled with a lot of international experience headed by team India veteran point guard Akilan Pari. But in this opening game two of their international star big men Rikin Pethani and Aravind Annadurai were missing.

Starting off fluidly, Pari showed why he is considered as one of the best point guards in the country as he displayed some exceptional scoring and passing skills providing his team a 14 point lead to finish the first quarter.

The 2nd quarter was a very different story altogether as Income Tax had to continue the game without the help of their centre Jeevanantham Pandi who twisted his ankle while trying to secure an offensive rebound. The young Telangana team used this opportunity and had great success in securing multiple offensive rebounds and hitting six threes that cut their deficit to just 6 points.

In the 3rd quarter Income Tax regrouped themselves and mounted a huge comeback thanks to their outstanding shooting guard G Sivabalan who penetrated the Telangana team defense on multiple occasions. Sivabalan was able to finish under the ring while taking contact which earned him some free throws as well. Telangana team guard Visu Palani who led the team in the first half tried to bring his team back into the game but they were outscored 10-30 in this quarter.

In the final quarter, Telangana team kept on hustling but with the return of Jeevanantham Pandi — who showed some excellent shot blocking skills with his amazing wingspan and reach — Income Tax took away the game with a 22 point lead.

Final Score: Income Tax, Chennai 89 (Siva Balan 20 pts, Akilan 14 pts, P. Jeeva 14 pts) beat Telangana State Team 67 (Visu Palani 19 pts, Nikhil Sai 17 pts)

 

Vijaya Bank All India Tournament- Groups and League stage fixtures

Group A Group B
Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai Vijaya Bank
Indian Navy, Lonavala Income Tax, Chennai
Karnataka State Team Indian Customs, Pune
Telangana State Team

 

Sr. No Date and Day Time Team 1 Team 2
1 22nd August 2018/Wednesday 5:00 PM Vijaya Bank Indian Customs, Pune
2 6:00 PM ICF, Chennai Indian Navy, Lonavala
3 7:00 PM Income Tax, Chennai Telangana State Team
1 23rd August 2018/Thursday 5:00 PM Indian Customs, Pune Income Tax, Chennai
2 6:00 PM Vijaya Bank Telangana State Team
3 7:00 PM Karnataka State Indian Navy, Lonavala
1 24th August 2018/Friday 5:00 PM Karnataka State ICF, Chennai
2 6:00 PM Vijaya Bank Income Tax, Chennai
3 7:00 PM Telangana State Team Indian Customs, Pune
25th August 2018/ Saturday 5:00 PM Pool A Winners Pool B Runners
6:30 PM Pool B Winners Pool A Runners
26th August 2018/Sunday 5:00 PM 3rd & 4th Place Match
6:30 PM FINALS

 

Animesh Gautam
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