Last year’s runner-up ONGC (Dehradun) brushed aside the challenge of title holder IOB (Chennai) 70-48 to emerge the men’s champion of the 49th all-India basketball tournament for the PSG Trophy at the PSG Tech indoor courts here on Thursday.
The game was hot from the very start. International star Vishesh Briguvanshi’s injection of pace during the first couple of minutes was what ONGC required badly for the big match. He set the pace and the team grew in confidence from there. Trideep Rai, R. Muralikrishna and Amrit Pal Singh controlled the court and even shot baskets at regular intervals.
Amjyot Singh, Pratham Singh and Sivabalan counter attacked smartly for IOB. Despite the late charge, the Chennai men found themselves trailing by five points (15-20) at the end of the first quarter. IOB came nto the second period all fired up. And, two minutes into the session, they even managed to take the lead. Sivabalan played a key role for the team at this juncture. IOB not only took the lead but also defended well. At the halfway mark, it was just one point that separated the teams.
After the lemon break, both teams mixed caution with aggression. If Amjyot reached the ring with ease for IOB, so did Vishesh and Trideep for ONGC. But the early points secured by the ONGC men midway through saved the day for the team at the end.
It was an easy ride for Southern Railway (Chennai) in the women’s section. With quality stars such as Geethu Anna Jose, Anitha Paul Durai and Soniya Joy in its ranks, the Chennai outfit, barring for a brief period, called the shots before ousting a well-oiled South Central Railway (SCR) unit from Secunderabad 70-53 for the CRI Pumps Trophy.
The Chennai team gained an early edge, thanks to the efforts of Geethu (30 pts) and Anitha (21).
The dynamic duo shattered the water-tight defence set by the Secunderabad side time and again to score baskets with ease. But the SCR women were not deterred. They continued to fight but the contest was good as over for the team in the last quarter.
The results (final):
Men (PSG Trophy): ONGC (Dehradun) 70 bt IOB (Chennai) 48.
Women (CRI Pumps Trophy): Southern Railway (Chennai) 70 (Geethu Anna Jose 30, Anitha Paul Durai 21, Neena Hareendran 11) bt South Central Railway (Secunderabad) 53 (M. Gayathri 16, Manda Meshram 12, Aashna Ujawanay 11).