Sports Reporter

LUDHIANA: Uttar Pradesh held its nerve in a thriller to beat favourite Delhi 83-67 to win the boys' title in the 57th junior National basketball championship here on Saturday.

In a match that could have gone either way in the last quarter, Charanjeet powered Uttar Pradesh with his remarkable baskets. U.P. led 57-53 when Charanjeet decided that it was his day to corner glory and scored a couple of three pointers as he attacked the Delhi post.

Charanjeet, who was in the defence for a best part of the match, finished with 16 points, which proved to be crucial. Delhi propped up by Deepak and Humayun came as close as 57-56, but at 65-62 Charanjeet captured the imagination of the capacity crowd. Delhi led only once when it ended the first quarter 18-17, but then U.P. slowly increased the lead, keeping its cool.

Such was U.P.'s control that Delhi managed just five points in the last 10 minutes while the eventual winner improved its three-point lead to 16 a remarkable feat under the circumstances.

For Delhi, it was a forgettable day as its girls' team also finished second, losing to Chhattisgarh 81-73 in the afternoon.

The results: Boys: Final: Uttar Pradesh 83 (Vishesh 16, Charanjeet 16, Rajnish 12, Shokender 12) bt Delhi 67 (Deepak 20, Humayun 19, Sravan 14).

Third place: Chhattisgarh 78 bt Rajasthan 38.

Girls: Final: Chhattisgarh 81 (Kawaljeet 32, Navneet 19, Puspa 14, Aakansha 13) bt Delhi 73 (Paspreet 29, Aakansha 20, Harjeet 14).

Third place: Kerala 71 bt Punjab 55.

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