Leading by three points with a minute and 40 seconds to go, Indian Air Force survived some anxious moments before registering a 85-76 victory over an error-prone Vijaya Bank in the 27th Federation Cup basketball tournament at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium on Thursday. Delhi women beat Karnataka 82-77 in a late night match.
Vijaya Bank’s point guard Sanjay Raj muffed an easy basket as the ball sat on the edge of the frame and then rolled out with no IAF player anywhere near. Arvind missed two free throws soon after. To make matters worse, Anbu Kumar fouled Joginder Singh and the latter sunk in his two frees to ensure IAF’s victory.
IAF led all the way and except for the final minutes, they never allowed the bankmen to come near. It was 26-15 at the end of the first 10 minutes, 45-33 at the end of the second, 62-53 by the third. Indian Overseas Bank, Chennai, recorded a comfortable victory over South Central Railway (Secunderabad) 80-45. At the end of the first two quarters, the Railway team showed some resilience but thereafter, IOB pulled away to leave them behind. IOB opened up a 39-24 lead at half-time but then their all-court dominance proved too much for the Railway outfit to match. Rikhin, Harish and Raghu Ram played a big role for IOB with their distribution and interceptions, besides some accurate shooting.
Central Excise and Customs (Kochi) had their hero in Manoj, who top-scored with 33 points as they defeated a fighting Captain’s Club (Delhi) 88-63 in a high-scoring thriller. Praveen (28) matched Manoj shot for shot and pass for pass but found the Kochi team better equipped in the middle and on the flanks to ward off his threats.
Defending women’s champions South Eastern Railway (Bilaspur) rallied to beat Kerala 79-68 with Pushpa leading the way with 30 points.
Results (Men): Customs & Central Excise (Kochi) 88 (Manoj 33, Pereira 19, Nikhil 13) bt Captain’s Club (Delhi) 63 (Praveen 28, Devesh Nair 12) HT: 45-33; IOB (Chennai) 80 (Rikhin 21, Harish 15, Raghu Ram 13) bt South Central Railway (Secunderabad) 45 (Sujith 17) HT: 39-24; IAF 62 (Sethu 20, Joginder Singh 15, N Garewal 14) bt Punjab Police 53 (A Singh 24, R Singh 13) HT:32-25; Vijaya Bank 72 (Arvind 19, Srinivas Naik 17, Sanjay Raj 15) bt Central Excise and Customs, Kerala 68 (Subhas Shenoy 20, Philip Basil 16, Eudric Perera 12). HT 34-33; ONGC 96 (Riyazuddin 18, Mohith Bhandari 14, Bhrugvenshi 14) bt Jind, Haryana 59 (Deepak 16, Sukhbir Singh 15) HT: 51-17; Punjab Police 74 (Amruthpal Singh 23, Randhir Singh 17, Palpreeth Singh 14) bt Captain’s Club, Delhi 53 (Vinaya Kaushik 16, Praveen 15, Sachin Sharma 10) HT: 36-32; IAF 85 (Narender Grewal 31,Joginder Singh 24) bt Vijaya Bank 76 (Srinivas Naik 15, Arvind 29, Basavaraj 12).
Women: South Eastern Railway (Bilaspur)79 (Pushpa 30, Seema Singh 16, Akansha Singh 15) bt Kerala 68 (Surya 25, Jina 16, Nixon 14) HT: 43-23; TN 64 (Anita Paul 27, Apoorva M 18, Adhrai M 10) bt Chhattisgarh 57 (Poonam C 22, Sangeetha 14) HT: 39-25; Maharashtra 89 (Manisha 23, Renu 20) bt AP 41 (Shravanthi 12, Surya 12); Delhi 82 (Raspreeth Sidhu 44, M Kumari 21) bt Karnataka 77 (Navaneetha 23, Savitha 16, Roshini 16) HT: 35-33.