Indian Overseas Bank (Chennai) survived some nervous moments in the third quarter to defeat Chennai Customs 69-54 in the final of the 46th all-India basketball tournament for men at the PSG Tech courts here on Sunday.
IOB looked a bit scratchy in the opening minutes but quickly sorted it out.
With international Robinson back in the squad and in full cry, Customs found the going hot. Robinson used his rich experience to score from even difficult angles. And the crowd roared his every move.
Ravi Kumar, Pratam Singh and the fleet-footed captain S. Aravindh complemented Robinson. From a 2-6 deficit, IOB raced to a 39-27 lead at the end of the first half.
Customs, which has never won a match against IOB, could have made life miserable for the Bankmen had it converted about a dozen free throws that came its way.
Customs was a transformed side in the third quarter. Captain Saravana Rajan, who looked out of sorts early in the day, and John de Plato breathed fire in the Customs defence. They played a fast and furious game to upset IOB's rhythm. At this stage, Customs was just three points adrift of IOB (50-53).
IOB, however, tightened its defence, kept the opponent's scoring in check and won by a convincing 15-point margin to the delight of the large holiday crowd.
SECR wins title
South East Central Railway (Bilaspur) defeated an off-colour Central Railway (Mumbai) 87-53 in the women's final.
SECR raced ahead in the first quarter. However, Central Railway put up a stiff fight in the second with senior India star D. Manisha, K.S. Anu and Renjusha working hard upfront.
But, SECR proved too good in the final two quarters with internationals Shoshan, Anju and Seema in full flow. The trio showed fine understanding in both attack and defence.
The results (finals):
Men (PSG Trophy): IOB (Chennai) 69 (Robinson 24, Ravi Kumar 14) bt Chennai Customs 54 (Saravana Rajan 17, John de Plato 16).
Women (CRI Pumps Trophy): SECR (Bilaspur) 87 (Shoshan 25, Seema 20, Anju 24) bt Central Railway (Mumbai) 53 (V. Greesha 18, Manisha 17).
Keywords: all-India basketball