With a display that mirrored the spirit of challenge and fortitude, Chennai Customs accomplished a pulsating two-point victory over Indian Overseas Bank. But the verdict was insufficient to deny the championship title for IOB in the IOB-CDBA city Level 1 basketball competition for the Ponnappa Nadar Trophy on Friday. Chennai Customs won 74-72.
The irony of it all was that IOB was assured of the title with a tally of 16 points even before it entered the court; and a defeat did not pose any danger to its top spot. But the Customs outfit did enormous damage to the reputation of the redoubtable IOB squad in the final tie of the league. Customs finished second with 14 points.
From the start the Customs players went all out to subdue the famous opposition and succeeded largely due to the rhythm of the frontline and immaculate basketing by Saravana Rajan, who tallied 25 points.
More than once, the Customs team trailed in the last quarter but displayed the gumption to lower the colours of the rival in the end.
Notwithstanding the height advantage and possession of top ranked national players, IOB paid the penalty for its poor conversion of free throws.
The edge it had in the final quarter (68-67 at one point) did not help the team either.
S. Chandrasekaran, GM and Secretary, IOB Sports Board, gave away the prizes in the presence of R. Perisami, Commissioner of Customs (Air-Cargo).
The scores: Chennai Customs 74 (Vinod 18, Saravana Rajan 25, Dinesh 11) beat IOB 72 (Vineeth 18, Abilek Paul 18, Hareesh 11).
BSNL Chennai Telephones 85 (Mohanraj 13, Saravana Kumar 26, Arun Chandra Dass 21, Dilliraj 15) beat ICF 76 (Akilan 24, Ashwin 16, Sikandar Oli Raja 23).
Thursday's results: Indian Bank 67 (Moses Jeevnath 15, Caramal 20, Thangadurai 11) beat Southern Railway 49 (Navneethan 16, Karthik 13).
Sathyabama BC 68 (Ramkumar 16, Shiva 14, Prasanna 22) beat BSNL Chennai Tepehones 66 (Saravana Kumar 18, Arunchandradas 18, Mohanraj 12, Dilli Raj 10).
Positions (Played, Won, Lost, Points):
Indian Overseas Bank, 9-8-1-16; Chennai Customs 9-7-3-14; ICF 9-6-3-12; Indian Bank 9-6-3-12; BSNL 9-6-3-12; Satyabama 9-6-3-12; Southern Railway 9-2-7-4; State Police 9-2-7-4; Gopalapuram BC 9-1-8-2; State Bank 9-0-9-0.