With close matches and full galleries, the Rusheel Uday All-India Tournament was a big hit

The recent Rusheel Uday All-India Basketball Tournament for men and women held at the YMCA, Narayanguda, proved to be a big hit with followers of the game. The week-long event was part of the build-up to the centenary celebrations of the YMCA Narayanguda branch.

Mohd. Rizwan, former Indian captain in basketball, watched the semis and finals and was quite impressed with what he saw. “Both the finals were very close, with the women displaying a fine brand of basketball,” the sport's elder statesman said.

“The South Eastern Central Railway (SECR) women were excellent, especially with team work,” said Rizwan.

“Since it was a big event after the 2007 South Zone championships, the galleries were full and spectators craned their necks from the two roads skirting YMCA to catch the action,” said International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Commissioner Norman Isaac.

Some of the big names who graced the stage included former India players Shabbir Ahmed, Anup Kumar, Murali Krishna, Mohit Bhandari, S. Sreedhar, Suresh Ranot and Mohd. Riazuddin. Norman was full of praise for the KSEB team. “Against the star-studded ONGC, they showed great grit, coordination and discipline. Full marks ought to go to coach Bevin Chacko, who has transformed the squad,” he said.

As member of the Basketball Federation of India's Technical Commission, Isaac complimented Peter Santosh Diwaker, Prem Solomon and Samuel Vasanth Kumar for their toil, with backing from YMCA General Secretary Vinay Swaroop, in making the flood-lit event a stunning success. The guests of honour were Andres Chapman and Benny Padilla, both Vice Counsels from the American Consulate, Hyderabad.