Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh qualify from women's section

As the competition enters the quarterfinal stage in the 62nd Senior National basketball championships at the Nehru Indoor Stadium here, there are intense speculations as to which team would handle the pressure better and which team could easily crumble under relentless scrutiny.

Certainly, for the Tamil Nadu men's team, it will be a tough affair when it takes on Uttarakhand, one of the favourites to bag the crown, in the most keenly awaited last eight clash.

Unfortunate not to gain any points in its forfeited match against Delhi earlier in the league stage, Uttarakhand finished fourth in Group ‘B' and was therefore forced to compete in the pre-quarterfinals on Wednesday against Karnataka, which finished top in Level II.

Uttarakhand fielded its best team and gave it its all in a 107-86 win. Against a team which has been promoted and demoted in the last four years, Uttarakhand was confidence personified and had a comfortable lead in all four quarters.

Style and ease

The star of the match was Trideep Rai. He dribbled past the Karnataka defence with style and ease. His drive-ins, lay-ups and sense of passing were top class.

Seldom did he make a wrong pass. His 44 points, including 12 two-pointers out of 18, virtually sealed the tie in Uttarakhand's favour. Pivot Murali Krishna was not at his best, but was valuable in defensive rebounds.

Forward Deshraj also came good with some fine lay-ups.

Thursday's quarterfinal line-up:

Men: Tamil Nadu vs Uttarakhand; Kerala vs Services; Delhi vs Indian Railways, Punjab vs w/o Andhra Pradesh vs Haryana.

Women: Indian Railways vs Karnataka; Maharashtra vs TN; Kerala vs Chhattisgarh, Delhi vs UP.

The results (pre-quarterfinals):

Men: Uttarakhand 107 (Trideep Rai 44, Deshraj 12, Mohit Bhandari 10, Murali Krishna 17) bt Karnataka 86 (Srinivas Naik 18, Jinin Joseph 19, Mayur Bhat 10, A. Aravind 21); Haryana 93 (Vikas Mor 10, Deepak Rathee 32, Sukhbir Khals 23, Hemant Sheoran 18) bt AP 87 (C.H. Naveen Kumar 23, S. Vinay Kumar Yadav 20, K. Satish Kumar 19, Ramesh Kumar 12, Soumya Ranjan Rath 11).

Women: Karnataka 85 (J. Sushmitha 26, P.U. Navaneetha 30, Krutika Lakshman 14) bt AP 67 (Jilina Jose 11, Manda Meshram 22, Anshu Anto 18); UP 79 (Preeti Kumari 37, Ranjana Singh 20) bt Punjab 52 (Nagma Mirza 20, Kiranjit Kaur 18).

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