Karnataka demolished Puducherry’s challenge with an emphatic 93-39 win in the men’s league match of the 52nd South Zone senior basketball championship at the Kotla Vijaya Bhaksara Reddy Indoor Stadium on Thursday.

In a women’s round-robin league match, Kerala downed Puducherry 54-25.

The men’s encounter was a lop-sided affair, with Karnataka dominating from the start thanks to the enterprise of Srinivas Naik, who got admirable support from Hrishikesh and Amal. Once Karnataka led by a handsome margin of 31-14 in the first quarter, there was no looking back. The speed and precision of the ball-handler Amal and pivot S. Yasha were too good for Puducherry.

If the rival camp was expecting Karnataka to relax a bit in the last two quarters after leading 52-28 at the break, it was not to be as the latter kept scoring consistently.

There was marginal improvement for Puducherry in the last two quarters in terms of scoring, thanks primarily to a fighting display by Harikrishnan and Vinod who worked in tandem.

Earlier, Kerala women rallied from a 9-15 deficit in the first quarter to down Puducherry, dominating the last three quarters so much that the latter could manage only three points.

In a late evening match, Tamil Nadu men, defeated Andhra Pradesh 82-69.

The scores: League: Men: Karnataka 93 (Srinivas Naik 19, Hrishikesh 14) bt Puducherry 39 (Harikrishnan 12). Tamil Nadu 82 (Purushotham Singh 15, C. V. Dinesh 22, Raghuram 12) bt Andhra Pradesh 69 (Murali 20, P. S. N. Raju 15). Women: Kerala 54 (M. Athira 12) bt Puducherry 25 (Amita Jaiswal 12).

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