Results from Day 6 of the 67th Senior National Basketball Championship.
The Rajasthan men's team celebrates after reaching the semifinals after a gap of 25 years
Puducherry, 12th January 2017: Quarterfinal action began on Day 6 of the 67th Senior National Basketball Championship here at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium in Puducherry. The first result was no surprise as Chhattisgarh booked a semi-final berth winning their game against Delhi. Poonam Chaturvedi put up another MVP type performance with 60 points in the game. Chhattisgarh’s strategy was simple – put the ball in Poonam’s hands in the post and she took care of the rest. Delhi was unable to contain the Chhattisgarh centre and fell to a 99-67 loss. Delhi captain Raspreet Sidhu put up 27 points.
Earlier in the day, on the outdoor courts, the Madhya Pradesh women’s team qualified for the quarterfinals with a tight win against Rajasthan (77-74). MP’s Sikkim import Nima Doma Bhutia was on fire pouring in 24 points in the game, including 9 straight down the stretch. Her teammate Namrata Huda scored the last four points to put her team up by 3 and close out the game. MP will have an uphill task against defending champions Indian Railways in the quarterfinals.
In the other women’s pre-quarterfinal, Karnataka fell to a spirited Maharashtra side in another nail-biter of a contest. Maharashtra’s international player Shireen Limaye was the difference between the two teams as she took over the game in the second half. Her 34 points in the game included 20 second-half points that kept her team in the contest. A couple of clutch triples by her teammate Rupali Tripathi (12 points) gave Maharashtra a 1-point lead, downing Karnataka 62-61. Maharashtra will face Kerala in the quarterfinals.
Telangana have entered the semi-finals of the Senior Nationals for the second year in a row with an 81-70 win against Tamil Nadu. R. Ramya and M. Gayatri combined for 58 points. Tamil Nadu attempted a late comeback, but it was not enough, as Telangana built an insurmountable lead in the first 3 quarters.
In the men’s pre-quarterfinals, Rajasthan and Haryana sealed quarterfinal berths with victories against Gujarat and Odisha respectively. Rajasthan will take on Karnataka in the quarters, while Haryana will square off against last year’s finalists Uttarakhand, later in the day.
The first men’s quarterfinal of the day saw Punjab shake off its poor run to put on its best performance of the tournament against the Indian Railways. The first half was a close affair with both teams putting up an offensive show. Railways centre Gagandeep Singh remained consistent down low, putting up 25 points in the game. For Punjab, forward Gurvinder Singh Gill (20 points) was effective in the post against the big Railways frontcourt. But in the second half, former India international TJ Sahi (27 points) came out all guns blazing and took over the game. The Railways team were unable to contain his drives and transition play as he turned the game on its head, giving Punjab a double-digit lead. He was ably assisted by guards Rajveer Singh (27 points) and Arshpreet Bhullar (22 points), who maintained Punjab’s 10+ point lead with timely buckets. Despite winning only one league game, Punjab has managed to qualify for the semi-finals where they hope to continue the momentum from this performance.
In the evening session, Kerala women trounced Maharashtra by over 40 points (73-30). Kerala had too much firepower for Maharashtra as they jumped onto an 18-2 lead in the first quarter. It was cruise control for Kerala the rest of the way. India international Jeena Scaria top scored with 22 points for Kerala.
The third men’s quarterfinal produced an unlikely semi-finalist in Rajasthan, who upset Group A toppers Karnataka. After working hard to get to Level 1, Rajasthan shone on the big stage, playing as a cohesive unit. They had a strong first quarter, but Karnataka fought back in the second and third periods. Karnataka displayed poor defense, giving a lot of open shots to Rajasthan, who moved the ball well throughout the game. Almost all Rajasthan players on the floor had the ability to shoot the ball from outside and their shooting percentages today were on point. A dominant fourth quarter sealed the deal for Rajasthan who closed out on an 83-70 win. They will face Tamil Nadu tomorrow in the semi-final.
In the last quarterfinals, Uttarakhand men made short work of Haryana, 60-35, in a one sided contest. Uttarakhand's star studded line up showed their experience to progress to the semis.
About the 67th Senior National Basketball Championship 2017
The championship is being held 7th to 14th January. 27 men’s teams and 25 women’s teams have confirmed their participation.
The championship is being organised by the Puducherry Basketball Association under the aegis of the Basketball Federation of India.
Matches are being simultaneously held on four different courts: the indoor and outdoor courts of the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium complex (Courts 1 & 2), and the two courts at the Petit Seminare School.
Defending champions Railways women will be the team to watch out for as it rekindles its rivalry with previous winners Chhattisgarh. In the men’s section, traditional powerhouses Services, Uttarakhand and Tamil Nadu will be vying for top honours.
29 international players from across the country will be adding their experience to the fray.
Relevant Links for further information
- Senior Nationals format & significance
- Info on winners and runners up from all the past Senior Nationals
- Previous (66th edition) consolidated results & final standings
- 65th edition consolidated results & final standings