Indian Army (Delhi) played a pulsating last quarter to oust a stubborn Rail Coach Factory (RCF) from Punjab 77-66 in a men’s league match of the 49th all-India basketball tournament for the PSG Trophy at the PSG Tech courts here on Tuesday.
Vivekanda Das (18 points) turned out to be the hero. The junior national star caught the RCF defence off-guard time and again in the last quarter.
Earlier, the RCF men allowed the Army men to score freely before opening their account. After a quiet period, they rocked and the latter, for the first time, looked rattled a bit. Everybody played their part magnificently. They also found their range with ease.
RCF continued to apply the pressure on the Army defence. And, at the halfway mark, they even managed to gain a slight edge on points.
In the second session, Indian Army dug deep into its reserve and dragged itself back into contention. It maintained the intensity from there.
The final ten minutes was a nail-biting affair. Both teams were in full steam and fought for every scrap of possession. But midway through, with Das working magic, it was all over for RCF.
The results (league): Men: KSEB (Kerala) 61 (A. Baby 26, Ajeeth Suguwan 10) bt Indian Navy 38 (Saurabh 18); Indian Army 77 (V. Das 18, Sowmya Ranjan 16, Navneet Singh 10) bt RCF 66 (K.R. Bijender 27, Sadar Khan 11, Nikhil 11); IOB (Chennai) 85 (Sivabalan 28, Prasanna Venkatesh 23, Abhilek Paul 10, Vineeth Revi Mathew 10) bt Indian Army 50 (Navneet Singh 12); Punjab State 87, Harmandeep Singh 29, Ranbir Singh 22, Harminder Singh 140 bt KSEB 76 (G. Gokul 24, Anoop Devassia 17, Ajeeth Suguwn 12).
Women: South East Central Railway 68 (Bharti Netam 16, Aakansha Singh 14, M. Pushpa 13) bt Western Railway 58 (Anamika 17, M. Sona 14, Renu Maurya 13); South Western Railway 48 (Navaneetha 22) bt Kerala Police 32.