Special Correspondent

KOTTAYAM: Indian Bank, Chennai, made short work of EME Centre, Bhopal 59-39 and moved into the men's semifinals of the 13th YMCA all-India basketball tournament at the Nehru Stadium here on Friday.

The match had an even start as EME matched the fast pace set by Indian Bank and never allowed the latter to gain a runaway lead. A swift change in tactics by the bank side, shifting to a tough man-to-man defence, had an immediate effect and the Bhopal team crumbled somewhat surprisingly.

Using veteran B. Saravanan and Javed Khan to move up and collect the offensive rebounds, the bank side finally was able to take a decisive lead as Moses Jeevanath and Thangadurai found the basket repeatedly, making good use of the passes provided by playmaker S. Aravind.

The decision to judiciously utilise its full bench strength was another factor that helped Indian Bank.

The failure of EME's Renju Augustine to measure up in the attack negated the good work delivered by Sudhir Sharma, G.P. Reddy and Rajesh. This almost completely dried up the scoring for the Bhopal side.

Earlier, KSEB, Thiruvananthapuram was made to struggle by South Western Railway, Hubli before scoring a narrow 56-54 win in the women's round-robin league.

KSEB meets fancied Southern Railway, Chennai, next.

On Thursday, MEG, Bangalore and KSEB, Thiruvananthapuram prevailed over Central Excise, Kochi and Combined Universities of Kerala respectively to enter the men's semifinals.

The results: Men (knock-out): Indian Bank, Chennai 59 (Thangadurai 15, Javed Khan 13, S. Aravind 13) bt EME Centre, Bhopal 39 (G.P. Reddy 14, Rajesh 13); MEG, Bangalore 74 (Sweeto Francis 20, Lionel Antony12) bt Central Excise, Kochi 56 (Subash J. Shenoy 13, Santosh John 12); KSEB, Thiruvananthapuram 52 (K. Hareesh 16) bt Combined Universities of Kerala 30.

Women (round-robin league): KSEB, Thiruvananthapuram 56 (P. Lajitha 19, Soniya Joseph11) bt South Western Railway, Hubli 54 (R. Sunitha 14, R. Chandrakala12, Kurthika11); Southern Railway, Chennai 46 (Geethu Anna Jose 22, N. Shyamala 15) bt South Western Railway 27 (Kurthika11).

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