Defending champion Indian Overseas Bank (Chennai) will take on ONGC (Dehradun) in the final of the 49th all-India basketball tournament for men, for the PSG Trophy, here.
In the semifinals on Wednesday, IOB beat Punjab State 74-48 after ONGC had defeated Central Excise & Customs (Cochin) 89-69.
ONGC scored in its very first drive through Yadwinder Singh. And, with the hungry-looking Amrit reaching the ring with ease it took control of the proceedings early on and raced to a comfortable 14-5 lead.
Even as the scoreboard kept ticking in favour of the Dehradun side, the Customs men kept themselves busy experimenting from outside the circle. And, that hit them hard.
But midway through, they stepped up their tempo and played exciting basketball. T.S. Abhilash, Monish Wilson and Basil Philip joined the experienced Subhash Shenoy (15 points) in the middle and worked hard to repair the damage. They did that creditably and even managed to cut short the lead to some extent.
In the second period, neither side allowed any open shots. Customs tried hard but ONGC managed to stay in front (38-28) on points.
Amrit Pal Singh (23 points), S. Sridhar, its captain, and Vishesh Bhriguvanshi scored from all over the court and extended the advantage. The Customs men were aggressive as well but failed to find the range and fell further behind.
Men (PSG Trophy): Semifinals: ONGC 89 (Amrit Pal Singh 23, R. Muralikrishna 18) bt Central Excise & Customs, Cochin, 69 (Subhash Shenoy 15). IOB 74 bt Punjab State 48.
League: IOB (Chennai) 75 (Sivabalan 18, Rikin Pethani 13, Amjyot Singh 12) bt Central Excise & Customs, Cochin, 48 (Subhash Shenoy 14, Akhil Sunny 12); ONGC (Dehradun) 86 (Amrit Pal Singh 25, Trideep Rai 19) bt Punjab State 61 (Ranbir Singh 19, Vikramjit Singh 15, Amanjot Singh 10).
Women (CRI Pumps Trophy): Semifinals: South Central Railway 75 bt South Eastern Central Railway 65; Southern Railway 79 bt Western Railway 26; League: South Central Railway 56 (M. Gayathri 17, Aashna Ujwanay 16) bt KSEB 55 (Ashley Mathew 13, Shilji George 13, Rosmy Thomas 11).