Riding on a stunning second quarter which brought in five three-pointers, Punjab Police jolted men's favourite ONGC 72-59 and lifted the Federation Cup basketball title after a decade at the Rajiv Gandhi indoor stadium here on Sunday night.
Earlier, Southern Railway, with stars Geethu Anna Jose and Anitha Pauldurai in its ranks, thrashed defending champion Chhattisgarh 95-57 and regained the women's title after an eight-year break.
The Police team, with six men who helped Punjab win the senior National title in Chennai in December, came up with a fine display of power basketball.
Twenty-year-old centre Amritpal Singh, playmaker Jagadeep Singh and Amanjot Singh stood out with their performance.
The ONGC men, with current internationals Vishesh Bhriguvanshi and Yadwinder Singh, enjoyed a 10-5 lead midway through the first quarter which ended at 14-13.
However, the Dehradun-based team did not know what hit it in the next 10 minutes.
Harminder Singh hoisted three amazing three-pointers while the fast and lively Amanjot came up with two that took the game away from the oil and gas major.
“That was the turning point,” said a thrilled Gurkirpal Singh, the Police coach who was also the team's captain during Punjab's recent National triumph.
ONGC had thrashed the Punjab cops by nearly 20 points in Mumbai's Savio Cup in January but on Sunday, it could do little to stop Amritpal Singh or the fast and smart all-rounder Amanjot, who was excellent both in and out, and Indian captain Jagdeep who sparkled with his turnaway jumpers.
All that the ONGC men, including centre Shabeer Ahmed, could do was collect plenty of fouls which made them cautious as time ticked by.
Bhriguvanshi and Yadwinder stood out for ONGC but it was one day when the team did not settle down till the end.
Earlier, Southern Railway had little trouble in handling Chhattisgarh which had nearly five players from the South East Central Railway, the inter-Railway champion.
“We have always run out of luck in the Federation Cup, losing by very close margins but it was a happy ending this time,” said Geethu, the team's star.
Renjini Peter scored a match-high 30 points and along with Geethu took care of the rebounds, while Anitha Pauldurai (four threes from seven attempts) and point guard Kolila sparkled in the victory.
The results: Men: Final: Punjab Police 72 (Amritpal Singh 22, Jagdeep Singh 17, Amanjot Singh 15, Harminder Singh 11) bt ONGC, Dehradun 59 (Vishesh Bhriguvanshi 21, Yadwinder Singh 20). Third place: IOB, Chennai 74 (Rikin Prathani 28, Pratham Singh 20, Vineeth Ravi Mathew 10) bt Central Excise, Kochi 74 (Shinumon Augustine 23, Monish Wilson 22, Subash J. Shenoy 11).
Women: Final: Southern Railway, Chennai 95 (Renjini Peter 30, Geethu Anna Jose 20, Anitha Pauldurai 18, Kokila 10) bt Chhattisgarh 57 (Poonam Chaturvedi 17, Seema Singh 16, Anju Lakra 15).
Keywords: Federation Cup basketball