LUDHIANA: Punjab gave a glimpse of its strike power as it stunned last year bronze medallist Uttarakhand 76-40 in a Group ‘B’ league match of the Pearls 60th National basketball championship here on Monday.
Cheered by a capacity crowd and with all the teams also keenly looking forward to the match of the day, Punjab outclassed Uttarakhand after a sparring session in the first quarter when it led 21-16.
While the host accelerated brilliantly, thanks to the three pointers from skipper Talwinderjit Singh that saw the team break from the clutches of its opponent, Uttarakhand literally froze in the second quarter, when it managed to score a mere six points.
That phase finished the match as a contest and Uttarakhand could not capitalise on the relatively weaker opposition in the second half as it missed everything.
Jagdeep Singh top-scored for Punjab with 26 points and sustained his work throughout the match, bettering the performance of Talwinderjit (22) who was rested in the third quarter, to possibly preserve him for the tougher challenges ahead.
After having beaten last year’s finalist Tamil Nadu in the opening match, Uttarakhand was unable to get things going after a steady start. With three teams qualifying from the group for the quarterfinals, the team can still regroup and assert itself.
Railway women cruise
In the women’s section, champion Railways outplayed Karnataka 100-33 for its second win in as many matches. Delhi also looked all set to reach the century but Pratima Singh missed a simple one just before the hooter, as the team rolled past Maharashtra, for its second win in as many outings.
Men: Group A: Andhra Pradesh 66 (Abdul Jaleel 23, Soumya Raith 18, P. Siva Nagaraju 16) bt Chhattisgarh 63 (Sharvan Bishol 20, Kiran Pal Singh 16, Ajay Partap Singh 12, Ankit Panigrahi 12).
Group B: Punjab 76 (Jagdeep Singh 26, Talwinderjit Singh Sahi 22) bt Uttarakhand 40; Karnataka 81 (Kaushal 27, Sanjay Roy 12) bt Delhi 60 (Pramod 20, Gurvinder 14, Vinay 13).
Women: Group A: Railways 100 (P. Anitha 13, Geethu Anna Jose 13, Anju Lakra 12, Kiranjit 11, Manisha 11, M. Pushpa 11) bt Karnataka 33 (Savitha 18, Krutika 10); Chhattisgarh 94 (Shoshan Tirkey 16, Kavita 14, L. Deepa 12, Nikita Godahkar 11, Aakansha Singh 10) bt Uttar Pradesh 41 (Anita Kanojia 10).
Group B: Delhi 98 (Prashanti Singh 19, Pratima Singh 17, Akanksha Singh 15) bt Maharashtra 42 (Sangeetha 10); Tamil Nadu 43 (Sowmya 12, Subhalakshmi 11) bt Andhra Pradesh 35 (Amita 22).