Army Red (Services) defeated Sikar District 89-42 in men’s Pool B to remain in contention for a semifinal slot at the 28th Federation Cup basketball championship.
The Rajasthan side fought hard and scored through three-pointers in the face of a ruthless onslaught.
Sambhaji Kadam set the tone with precision passing and court coverage in the first quarter. Army Red led 24-17 and from then on, the clever ball-handler watched from the bench till the finish as teammates ran riot.
“Sikar is a decent side, but for us after the first match loss, it didn’t matter who the opposition was. Winning by a huge margin at all cost was a priority to avoid qualification problems, Kadam said.
Jijin Joseph took on playmaking duties for the next three quarters, Kadam on the bench appreciated the collective effort.
“I sat out after the first quarter since the coaches wanted to keep me fresh for tougher matches ahead. Once we took the lead, the players on court executed the plan from the second quarter.” Mayur Bhat netted 19 points for Army Red, supported by Jairam Jat with 16.
Kadam was blunt in stating that BSF was taken lightly in the opener. “We appeared to be playing with BSF, not against them. Taking things easy did not help, now everyone is alert enough to ensure there are no further hiccups.”
Army Red amassed 30 points in the second quarter to lead 54-30 at the halfway mark. The quick counters and neat drive-ins were too much to handle for Sikar, a mix of Railway hoopsters and Rajasthan University lads.
In other matches at the YMCA International Centre indoor court, men’s defending champion Oil & Natural Gas Commission remained undefeated after three league ties, beating Bhilai Steel Plant 66-34 and top Pool A. Border Security Force won second back-to-back match in Pool B.Indian Overseas Bank notched a runaway 101-68 win over Northern Frontier Railway to remain in contention from Pool A, the second win in three games for the former.
The results: Men: Army Red 89 (Mayur Bhat 19, Jairam Jat 16) bt Sikar District 42 (Hirendra Singh 16, Prashant Singh 15).
Northern Frontier Railway 87 (Sunil Kumar 23, Jaskaran Singh 12) bt Bhavnagar District 62 (Dishant Shah 22, Swapnil Thakore 13).
ONGC (Uttarakhand) 66 (Yadwinder Singh 14, Amritpal Singh 13) bt Bhilai Steel Plant (Chhattisgarh) 34 (Sameer Rai 10).
BSF (Punjab) 77 (Vinod Kumar 27, Mahesh Mishra20, Gurwinder Singh 13) bt Central Excise (Kerala) 50 (Monish Wilson 16, M.C. Kannan 10).
IOB (Tamil Nadu) 101 (Aravind 31, Pratham Singh 25, Amjyot Singh 11) bt Northern Frontier Railway 68 (Prakash 21, K. Sunil 17).
Women: Kerala 77 (P. Neenumol P 16, P. Lijimol 9 ) bt Gujarat 20 (Sheena Chawla 10).
Punjab 77 (Nagma Mirza 29, Kirandeep Kaur 17, Nirmal Kaur 16) bt Karnataka 49 (Sindhuri Shastri 12, P. Navaneetha 12).
Chhattisgarh 85 (Anju Lakra 24, Pushpa M 21) bt Delhi 44 (K. Madhu 21).