Kerala stops Rajasthan's progressDilawar Singh top-scores with 26 points for Punjab
JAIPUR: Defending champion Railways made an early exit, losing to Punjab by six points in the men's quarterfinals of the 57th National basketball championship at the Sawai Mansingh indoor stadium here on Tuesday.
In a replay of last year's final, Punjab avenged its defeat with a narrow 88-82 victory over Railways, which was plagued by poor ball collection and missed passes.
Railways skipper Riyazuddin and mercurial shooter Jasjod Singh had everything going for Railways, but the rest of the team allowed too many defensive lapses to let Punjab keep in tow.
Riyazuddin scored 24 points while Jasjod had 21, but Railways lacked will and was also troubled by cool winds during the match played on outdoor cement court.
"We shouldn't complain about the conditions. It was plain poor show by our team,'' said a dejected Railways coach Ajmer Singh.
"Both the teams were of same calibre, but we failed to apply ourselves to the given conditions,'' he added.
For Punjab, Dilawar Singh top-scored with 26 points while Jagdeep helping the scorboard ticking.
In the first semifinals, Punjab meets Services, which scored a drab 76-40 win against Karnataka.
In the bottom half of the draw, Kerala stopped Rajasthan's progress. It won 104-82 to set up semifinal clash against former champion Uttaranchal.
In an entertaining quarterfinal, Uttaranchal proved its worth with a 98-87 win against Tamil Nadu, which was undefeated so far in the championship.
In the women's section, Railways took its appointed position winning easily against Himachal Pradesh. Railway meets Punjab in the first semifinal while the last year's runner-up, Delhi, takes on surprise package, Chhattisgarh, which defeated Maharashtra.
The results: Men: Quarterfinals: Punjab 88 (Dilawar Singh 26, Jagdeep 21, Damandeep 11) bt Railways 82 (Riyazuddin 24, Jasjod Singh 21, Shiv Kumar 13).
Services 76 (Dalip Kumar 10, S. Sethu 10, Jairam Jat 11, K. Vipin 12) bt Karnataka 40 (Prashanth 8, Sanjay Raj 9, Srinivas Naik 12); Uttaranchal 98 (Desraj 27, Murli 20) bt Tamil Nadu 87 (Trideep Rai 27, Sukaneshwar 15); Kerala 104 (Manoj R. 37, Abhijeet T.S. 17, Anoop 10) bt Rajasthan 82 (Mod Singh 24, Gurvinder Singh 14, Lokesh 14, Gurdeep 13).
Pre-quarterfinals: Uttaranchal 102 (Murali 25, Sridhar 29, Desraj 13, Mohit 18) bt Chandigarh 84 (Bhupesh 23, Ashfaq 15, Amarpal 14, Surender 18); Karnataka 77 (Roshan 26, Srinivas 20, Sanjay Raj 15) bt Assam 68 (Binod 17, Rajeev 9, Birender 12).
Ninth position: Assam bt Chandigarh 51-43. Loser's knockout: Orissa bt Andhra Pradesh 83-81, Uttar Pradesh bt Tripura 99-87.
For 2007 groupings: Delhi bt Madhya Pradesh 88-86.
Women: Quarterfinals: Punjab 64 (Kiranjit Kaur 20, Paramjit Kaur 16, Kamaljit 6) bt Tamil Nadu 55 (S. Mahalakshmi 15); Chhattisgarh 76 (Akansha 19, M. Pushpa 18, Bharti 18, Navneet 12, Bincy 12) bt Maharashtra 59 (Meenakshi 21, P.K. Ambily 15, Rashmi 11); Delhi 91 (Divya Singh 22, Aakanksha 12, Asha 10) bt Andhra Pradesh 62 (K. Hemawani 25); Railways 100 (M. Nidhi 15, Seema Singh 15,Sunaina 12, Geetha 11) bt Himachal Pradesh 43 (Geeta 11).
Loser's knockout: Chandigarh bt Uttar Pradesh 66-65, Karnataka bt Rajasthan 44-22.
For 2007 groupings: Kerala bt Madhya Pradesh 57-39.