Surviving suspenseful moments, especially in the third quarter, Indian Overseas Bank asserted its supremacy as the best men's basketball team in the State.

In a pulsating final against Chennai Customs on Friday in the SRM-Rising Star tournament at the Corporation Playground in T Nagar, IOB bagged the Nagan Memorial Trophy and the cash award of Rs.20,000 with a 68-47 victory.

What was looking like a prosaic contest, with IOB commanding the exchanges the rival zone, thanks to the effort of the diminutive Arvinda and the enterprise of S. Robinson till the end of the second quarter, suddenly gained life when Customs injected a high degree of verve with a series of splendid basketing by Saravanarajan. Customs made it 41-40.

From then on it was a close chase with the baskets coming in quick succession at both the boards. Even at 48-44, it looked anybody's game until two impeccable three pointers by Harish changed the course of the contest. Harish scored 20 points.

Quite expectedly, it was Robinson who became the cynosure of all eyes. He gathered 22 points.

Earlier, Southern Railway, featuring international stars Geethu Anna Jose and Anitha, prevailed over SRM-Rising Stars to win the women's trophy.

R. Elangovan, Secretary, Tamil Nadu Basketball Association, and Ravi Kumar, Vice-President, SNJ Industries, gave away the trophies and cash awards.

The results: Men: Final league: Indian Overseas Bank 68 (Harish 20, Mihir Pandey 10, S. Robinson 22) bt Chennai Customs 47 (Saravanarajan 22). (3-4): Indian Bank 55 (Deepak 12, Amarnath Gopi 12) bt ICF 48 (Ashwin 15).

Women: Southern Railway 22 bt SRM-Rising Stars 17; 3-4: Anju BC 48 (Vidya Sivakumar 12, Divya 10, Menaka 11) bt Armed Police (Madurai) 43 (Vellammal 13).

Cash Awards: Men: 1. IOB (Rs. 20,000), 2.Chennai Customs (Rs. 15,000), 3. Indian Bank (Rs.10,000) 4. ICF (Rs. 7000).

Women: 1. Southern Railway (Rs. 15,000), 2. SRM-Rising Stars (Rs. 10,000), 3.Anju BC (Rs. 8000), 4. Armed Police (Rs. 4000).

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