Mumbai: The energy and talent in Dinesh C.V. and Som Vir spurred Soldiers to a 70-53 semifinal win over Lions for whom captain Vishesh Briguvanshi fought all the way in the Mastan Basketball Professional League on Friday.
Dinesh and Som notched 16 points each to help their team enter the men's final at the Mastan YMCA teraflex courts.
Vishesh's high of 28 points did not change the outcome due to shortage of support from others.
Undefeated in the league phase, Lions found the going tough against the dynamic Soldiers side. Dinesh was adjudged the ‘best player' of the semifinal and walked away with a refrigerator.
The event is held under the auspices of Basketball Federation of India and sponsored by Lakadawala Developers.
Soldiers centre Jagdeep Singh, marked tightly by skipper Vishesh and Sarvan, shook off attention and drove for baskets, worth 13 points.
The winners led 16-11 in the first quarter, Lions roared back in the second to win 15-13 mainly through its in-form captain. Down 26-29 at halfway mark, the Lions fell behind whenever Soldiers surged ahead via fast breaks from Arvind Singh Rawat, winning the third quarter 19-11 and went on to confirm the semifinal place.
The results: Men: semifinal: Soldiers 70 (Dinesh C.V. 16, Som Vir 16, Jagdeep Singh 13) bt Lions 53 (Vishesh Brighuvanshi 28, Sarvan 9) HT 29-26.
League match: Rangers 78 (Prakash Mishra 23, Suresh Ranawat 11, Sridhar S 11) bt Challengers 61 (Siddharth Shinde 17, Anoop M 16) HT 35-27 . — Special Correspondent