Tamil Nadu won the women’s title defeating Maharashtra 63-62 in an edge-of-the-seat thriller while ONGC (Uttarkhand) dumped Indian Overseas Bank (Chennai) 72-46 in a lopsided men’s final in the 27th Federation Cup Basketball Championships here on Sunday.
Maharashtra led 62-61 with a minute to go for the buzzer. They had the ball but gave it away as TN’s international Priyadarshini dashed off with sunk in a two pointer. It was 63-62 in TN’s favour with 10 seconds to go. They hung on for dear life to dash Maharashtra’s hopes.
It was a final where both teams showed a lot of guts and gumption. Down by 12 points, TN made the leeway to forge ahead at the halfway stage at 38-31. They lead at 55-48 by the third quarter. Two minutes into the fourth, TN led by 12 points.
Resorting to fast breaks and tight zonal defending, Maharashtra reduced the deficit and took the lead at 62-59 before TN stopped them at that total to seal win.Anitha once again sunk some brilliant three-pointers. She had a tally of 22 points, seven two pointers and two three-pointers. Maharashtra were slow in rushing back and allowed TN a free run for baskets. But once Maharashtra changed gears, they found it tough to contain them but hung on to win.
Led by the brilliant India skipper Vishesh Bhargav, ONGC were in control all along and never allowed IOB to come anywhere near. They played ‘catch me if you can’ and eventually sprinted away to glory with IOB only left to chase their shadows.
Vishesh enthralled the goodly crowd with his weaving runs and jump shots added to his occasional three-pointers. His speed and dash saw him barge in to the paint repeatedly and drop the ball delicately into the ring. Or else he provided some superb passes for Murli to convert or else fetch points from turnovers. Vishesh (18) and Murli (17) led their scoring but it was R. Trideep, who provided their first points, with his penchant to function wide on the right flank who caused IOB constant problems.
ONGC led 13-9 at the end of the first quarter, 36-16 by the second, 50-27 at the end of the third and eventually completed the formalities at 72-46.
In the battle for third spot among men, Punjab Police defeated Indian Air Force 86-66. Kerala downed South East Central Railway 88-66 to finish third in the women’s section.