TN women sail into final

Special Correspondent

Services holds back Punjab's challenge in men's semifinalsUttaranchal has it easy against Kerala

GUWAHATI: Tamil Nadu sailed past Delhi to book a berth in the women's final of the basketball events of the National Games at the Karma Chandra Nabin Borodoloi indoor stadium here on Saturday.

In the one-sided encounter, which Tamil Nadu won 80-54, Delhi's Sheeba Magoon and Asha Hedge did make a determined effort to cut down the lead in the final stages.

Tamil Nadu operated like a well-oiled machine, what with its lanky pivot Geethu Anna Jose and N. Shyamala controlling the shots all through the way. Geethu top-scored with 29 points while Shyamala and Sunitha Suren contributed 20 and 10 points respectively. Sheeba was the top-scorer for Delhi with 20 points and Asha had 14 points.

Tamil Nadu, in the final to be played on Sunday morning, will cross swords with Chattisgarh, which came from behind to pip Maharashtra 80-77. It was a couple of substitutions made by the Maharashtra coach that helped Chattisgarh to complete its coup after lagging behind until the last minute.

Keen action

The men's semifinals also saw some keen action as Services held back a spirited challenge from Punjab 70-68.

The National champion's rival in the final will be Uttaranchal, which in contrast, had an easy time against Kerala winning the second semifinal 103-88.

Kerala, without the services of three of its key players, failed with both the offensive and defensive rebounds, despite some heavy scoring by Monish Wilson and K. Hareesh.

The results: Men (semifinals): Services 70 (S.M. Seethu 14, Sambhaji Kadam 11) bt Punjab 68 (Jasjot Singh 25, Yadwinder Singh 15, Dilwar Singh 11); Uttaranchal 103 (Murali Krishna 22, Suresh Ranot 22, Dheeraj 18, Mohit Bhandari 11) bt Kerala 88 (Monish Wilson 32, K. Hareesh 27).

Women (semifinals): Tamil Nadu 80 (Geethu Anna Jose 29, N. Shyamala 20, Sunitha Suren 10) bt Delhi 54 (Sheeba Magoon 20, Asha Hedge 14, Harjeet Kaur 12); Chattisgarh 80 (Anju Lakra 30, Seema Singh 26, M. Pushpa 12) bt Maharashtra 77 (Lincy Joseph 26, Geo Blessen 20, Manisha Dange 11).