Tamil Nadu men ease past Kerala; Indian Railways begins well
Narender Kumar Grewal proved his worth in a telling manner as he helped Services pull off a 70-66 win over Chhattisgarh in a Group ‘B' men's contest of the 62nd senior National basketball championships at the Nehru Indoor Stadium here on Friday.
There wasn't even a minor hint of Services making such a daring comeback. The 28-time champion, down by 13 points, till the closing stages of the third quarter, changed track and strategy to pull off an amazing win.
Narender, who was pulled out early in the second quarter for committing four fouls, came back strongly in the third with a stand-out performance. Services was trailing 36-49, and he almost single-handedly levelled the scores. Towards the end, Services raced ahead.
Experience is an able ally in tough situations and it proved right for the former champion. Chhattisgarh's shooting and drive-ins were of top class and it led in the first (18-11) and second (37-25) quarters. Kiran Pal Singh and Bobby Singh scored most of the baskets for their team.
Defending champions Indian Railways men and women started their campaign in a blazing manner. The men's team outplayed Uttar Pradesh 99-70, while the women scripted a huge 103-37 victory over Punjab.
Tamil Nadu scored an impressive 83-45 win over Kerala in a Group ‘B' men's tie.
It was an impressive performance by the host. Pratam Singh top-scored with 20 points.
Tamil Nadu women, like their men's counterpart, scripted an authoritative 87-33 win over Rajasthan in a Group ‘B' match. M. Apoorva (22) and Alagu Tamil Mozhi (10) were the scorers.
Earlier, the tournament started off on a controversial note when Basketball Federation of India officials stopped the Group ‘B' men's match between Uttarakhand and Delhi. BFI's contention was that two players, Yadwinder Singh and Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, hadn't got the No Objection Certificate (NOC) from Western Railway to play for Uttarakhand.
Uttarakhand coach Mann insisted that BFI had no case as the Nainital High Court had directed the former to allow the two to play for the State. BFI was involved in a close-door meeting regarding the issue.
“We have sought legal opinion and are also talking to Western Railway and the concerned players. We will sort out the issue and a decision will be taken on Saturday,” said a senior BFI official.
Men: Group ‘A': Indian Railways 99 (Gagandeep Singh 26, Dilawar Singh 17, Prakash Mishra 14) bt UP 70 (Rudra Pratap Singh 24, Upendra Kumar 14); TN 83 (Mihir Pandey 19, Pratam Singh 20) bt Kerala 45 (R. Manoj 13, Ajeet Sugunan 13).
‘B': Services 70 (Narender Kumar Grewal 18, K. Vipin 18, Joginder Singh 15, Dalip Kumar 12) bt Chhattisgarh 66 (Kiran Pal Singh 21, Bobby Singh 11).
‘E': Odisha 75 (Ashish Behera 12, Sanjeeba Behura 11) bt Bihar 37 (Manavendra 13).
‘F': Maharashtra 84 (Raj Kalbhor 17, Akshay Bhosle 17) bt Puducherry 48 (Hari Krishna 19, Naveen Kanth 18).
Women: ‘A': Chhattisgarh 78 (Kavita 18, Poonam Chaturvedi 10, L. Deepa 11, Aakansha Singh 10) bt Maharashtra 44 (L. Shirin 15); Indian Railways 103 (S. Kokila 22, Harjeet Kaur 14, P. Anitha 12) bt Punjab 37 (Kiranjeet Kaur 13).
‘B': TN 87 (M. Apoorva 22, Alagu Tamil Mozhi 10) bt Rajasthan 33 (Anjali Sharma 11); Delhi 75 (Pratima Singh 26, Akansha Singh 19, Prashanthi Singh 12) bt Kerala 48 (P.S. Jeena 12).
‘E': Odisha 46 (Sitamani Tudu 10) bt Chandigarh 20.
Keywords: National basketball championship