Railways rallies to down Andhra Pradesh
The ongoing 62nd senior National basketball championships has witnessed the best of Punjab side. Wonderful defence, aggression and speed in counter-attacks, and relatively error-free shooting have been Punjab's assets.
Everything was crystal clear in its 83-60 victory over Delhi in a Group ‘B' contest on Tuesday.
For a State with a rich reservoir of talent and good infrastructure, however, Punjab men's team has clinched the National championship title, the Todd Memorial Trophy, only five times, but has finished second-best twice that number. In Ludhiana, in the year 2009-10, Punjab lost by a single point to Railways.
Here, on Tuesday, Amritpal Singh (Jr) one of the key players, top-scored (18 points) in Punjab's good win. A fine shooter, he has been outstanding in defensive rebounds. Amjyot Singh was excellent in defence.
As is his wont, Jagdeep Singh used his physique and height to make numerous drive-ins.
Delhi could only make a minor impact in the second quarter with Pravin Doyal and Pradeep Kumar converting a few baskets.
There has been a lot of problems confronting the Indian Railways men's team, least of all consistency.
This has not been the best of championships for the defending champion as two of its key players Yadwinder Singh and Vishesh Bhriguvanshi are now with Uttarakhand.
This day Railways won its final league well-contested match against Andhra Pradesh 91-77. AP started off with all guns blazing with razor quick passes and excellent shooting. AP was easily the better team in the first two quarters leading 21-14 and 39-34.
Dilawar Singh, however, changed the momentum for Railways with a couple of three pointers in the third quarter and once Gagandeep Singh found his rhythm, Railways romped home.
Tamil Nadu men finished their league engagements with a 79-53 win over Uttar Pradesh and topped Group ‘A'.
In the men's pre-quarterfinal matches to be held on Wednesday, Karnataka will take on Uttarakhand and Haryana meets Andhra Pradesh. In the women's section, Karnataka clashes with AP and UP meets Punjab.
The results: Men: Level I: ‘A': Indian Railways 91 (Prakash Mishra 14, Gagandeep Singh 25, Dilawar Singh 24) bt AP 77 (C.H. Naveen Kumar 24, S. Kumar 18, P. Kullu 15). TN 79 (Sidheeq Razak 14, Saravana Rajan 10, Arun Chandra Doss 18, Rikin Pethani 11) bt UP 53 (Bhanu Pratap Singh 13, Ankur Anand Singh 17, Rudra Pratap Singh 11).
‘B': Punjab 83 (Amanjyot Singh 12, Amritpal Singh Jr. 18, Ranbir Singh 10) bt Delhi 60 (Pravin Doyal 12, Pradeep Kumar 12). Uttarakhand 92 (Dinesh Kumar 13, Mohit Bhandari 12, Trideep Rai 39, Murali Krishna 19) bt Services 81 (Joginder Singh 21, Narender Kumar Grewal 10, Gopal Ram 20).
Level II: Promotion play-off matches: Karnataka 73 (Srinivas Gowda 17, Srinivasa Naik 15) bt Rajasthan 62 (Hirendra Singh 18, Niraj Kala 13). Haryana 101 (Vikash Mor 32, Hemant Sheoran 24, Sukhbeer Singh 12) bt HP 61 (Surjeet Singh 26, Ashok Kumar 18).
Women: Level I: Group ‘A': Chhattisgarh 70 (Kavita 27, Seema Singh 18) bt Punjab 68 (Kiranjit Kaur 21, Nagma Mirza 15). Maharashtra 79 (Shireen Limaye 31, Aviya Dharave 14) bt MP 54 (Deepika David 16, Bhagya Shree Joshi 14).
‘B': Kerala 60 (Jeena 21) bt Rajasthan 19. Delhi 76 (Prashanti Singh 20, Pratima Singh 16, Sonika Ohlyan 13) bt AP 44 (Manda Meshram 12).
Level II: Promotion play-off matches: Uttar Pradesh 52 (Ranjana Singh 17) bt Pondicherry 23. Karnataka 67 (Kruthika Lakshman 21, Navaneetha 18) bt West Bengal (Priyanka Kumari 18, Madhu Kumari 16, Poushali Dutta 10).