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Amritpal turns in a superb show

Kamesh Srinivasan
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BASKETBALL / His 50 points fires Uttarakhand into semis against Punjab

SIMPLY DOMINEERING:Jai Ram was one of Services’ heroes in its 104-71 trouncing of Railways.— PHOTO: Sandeep Saxena
SIMPLY DOMINEERING:Jai Ram was one of Services’ heroes in its 104-71 trouncing of Railways.— PHOTO: Sandeep Saxena

Amritpal Singh was unstoppable as he scored 50 points in firing defending champion Uttarakhand to a 93-74 victory over a spirited Kerala in the men’s quarterfinals of the IMG Reliance 64th National basketball championship at the Thyagaraj Indoor Stadium here on Monday.

Kerala started well and stayed on par at 21-21 after the first quarter, but could not sustain the good work, seeing halftime at 38-48.

With the rest of the team playing around Amritpal, Uttarakhand cruised along unmindful of the fact that Kerala had bridged the gap to five points midway through the fourth quarter after having enjoyed a 13-point lead at one stage.

In the semifinals, Uttarakhand will be challenged by Punjab, which proved too good for Haryana despite a sloppy start when it trailed by two points at the end of the first quarter.

However, once Haryana found itself 30-43 at halftime, it lost steam.

Services was equally authoritative in its 104-71 victory over Railways, and will now face Tamil Nadu in the semifinals.

The Delhi women recovered from a shaky start — they trailed 9-17 — to overwhelm Punjab 111-58, thanks to the efficiency of Prashanti Singh and Raspreet Sidhu.

The two scored 52 of Delhi’s points, 35 of them crucially helping the team take a 43-28 lead at halftime.

Kerala did not put up much of a fight against Chhattisgarh; with the defence tightened Kerala’s leading players Stephy Nixon and P.S. Jeena failed to strike rhythm. Kavita, once again, top scored for Chhattisgarh.

The results: Men: Quarterfinals: Tamil Nadu 87 (V.R. Mathew 18, Pratham Singh 16, Rikin Pethani 15, C.V. Dinesh 12) bt Karnataka 54 (Dheeraj Shetty 16, Anil Kumar 12).

Punjab 89 (Amritpal Singh 20, Palpreet Singh 17, Ranbir Singh 16, Gurwinder Singh 13) bt Haryana 62 (Pradeep Chauhan 22, Deepak Rathi 18).

Uttarakhand 93 (Amritpal Singh 50, Yadwinder Singh 17) bt Kerala 74 (Monish Wilson 19, Basil Phillip 16, Jomon Jose 15, K.R. Nikhil 12, Albin Baby 10).

Services 104 (Gopal Ram 28, Narender Grewal 21, Jai Ram 17, Joginder Singh 13) bt Railways 71 (Ankur Anand Singh 18, Prakash Misshra 12, Birender Singh 11, Hirendra Rathare 11).

Pre-quarterfinals: Karnataka 90 (A. Arvind 23, Dheeraj Shetty 21, Rajesh P. Uppar 16) bt Rajasthan 77 (S. Partha sarathi 16, Jaynesh Patel 13, Harsh Vardhan 12).

Haryana 75 (Hemant Sheoran 35, Vikas Mor 12, Pradeep Chauhan 11, Deepak Rathi 10) bt Chhattisgarh 59 (Karanpal Singh 21, Ajay Pratap Singh 11, Shyam Sundar 10).

Women:

Quarterfinals: Railways 90 (M. Pushpa 17, Geethu Anna Jose 14, R. Smruthi 13, Anju Lakra 11) bt Tamil Nadu 50 (R. Azhagu Tamizh Mozhi 17, Apoorva Muralinath 14).

Chhattisgarh 76 (Kavita 22, Bharti Netam 14, L. Deepa 14, Poonam Chaturvedi 10, Seema Singh 10) bt Kerala 46 (P. S. Neenumol 15, Stephy Nixon 11, P. S. Jeena 10).

Delhi 111 (Prashanti Singh 29, Raspreet Sidhu 23, Pratima Singh 16, Madhu Kumari 12) bt Punjab 58 (Nagma Mirza 23, Nirmal Kaur 13, Kiranjit Kaur 11).

Pre-quarterfinals: Tamil Nadu 59 (V. Srividhya 14, Srividya Sekar 12) bt Uttar Pradesh 21.

Karnataka 84 (P. U. Navneetha 29, Sushmitha Gowda 17, Kruthika Lakshman 16, Roshim Rose John 11) bt Andhra Pradesh 72 (M. Gayathri 24, N. Sneha Priya 18, E. Jyothi 13).

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