Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: New recruit Dinesh put in a sparkling performance as Indian Overseas Bank, Chennai defeated Prithvi Nath Club 105-89 after trailing 46-48 at the interval in a Group B match of the 34th all-India Master Prithvi Nath Sharma memorial basketball tournament at the Prithvi Nath Stadium, Ajmal Khan Park, here on Thursday.

With Dinesh stealing the thunder from the seasoned S. Robinson, the Chennai team had little difficulty in recording its third successive win. Mihir Pandey, Sukavaneswaran and Chandrasekar toiled equally, especially in the second half, to tilt the balance in favour of IOB.

A couple of three-pointers by Parveen Kumar towards the fag end of the contest only helped in reducing the margin for the host, which looked to have lost the race once it surrendered the lead after being 63-60.

With ONGC set to top the other group, IOB will possibly play the winner of the match between Army and Western Railway in the semifinals. Punjab and North Western Railway will fight for the second semifinal spot.

SECR posts win

In the women's section, South East Central Railway resurrected itself with a 78-73 victory over Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited, Delhi, which was considerably handicapped without the experienced Sheeba Maggon. Anju Lakra and skipper Bincy Philip played brilliantly in the second half to turn the tables on MTNL, which had led 61-53 at one stage.

With captain Asha Hegde out with five fouls, about four minutes from the final whistle, MTNL struggled to cope with the pacy Railway attack.

Western Railway is sitting pretty with two wins from two matches while defending champion Southern Railway has managed only one win.

The results: Men: IOB, Chennai 105 (S. Robinson 22, A.D. Sukavaneswaran 18, Chandrasekar 18, Dinesh 16) bt Prithvi Nath Club 89 (Dhiraj Saroha 18, Lakshay Mohan 17, Shiv 15, Parveen Kumar 15); Punjab 74 (Jagdeep 17, Yadwinder 16, Sukhbir 16) bt Prithvi Nath Club 60 (Shiv 25); IOB, Chennai 99 (Mihir Pandey 18, S. Robinson 17, A.D. Sukavaneswaran 16, Chandrasekar 16, Dinesh 15) bt North Western Railway 78 (Mahipal Singh 27, Neeraj Kala 20). Women: South East Central Railway 78 (Bincy Philip 23, Seema Singh 22, Anju Lakra 19) bt MTNL 73 (Prabhjot Gill 22, Asha Hegde 21, L.S. Savitha 10); Western Railway 60 (Siji Kurien 18, Lincy Joseph 12) bt South East Central Railway 34 (Anju Lakra 13).

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