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Air Force prove too good for Vijaya Bank

Roshan Thyagarajan Bangalore: 23:02 IST

Karnataka eves suffer another defeat

Vijaya Bank’s attempt to use their big men to get the better of Indian Air Force backfired as the latter posted an 85-76 win on day two of the 27th Federation Cup basketball championship at the Sree Kanteerava stadium on Thursday.

A day after Murali Mohan’s wards used their size to overcome Central Excise and Customs’ small-built players to get their campaign off to a rollicking start, they ran into a side with a good share of big, agile men around the rim and their plot fell on its face.

Fresh from their stunning win over Punjab Police late on Wednesday night, the Airforcemen were all about sticking to the fundamentals which would have broken even the most disciplined defensive line-up.

And given that Vijaya Bank possessed a defence which could neither retrieve a rebound despite all the height -- partly due to how well the IAF’s big men put their leg out and box them out, nor guard any of their opponents’ forwards well enough, the hosts lagged behind from the second the ball went up.

Propelled by point-guard Narender Grewal (31 points) and shooting-guard Joginder Singh (24), IAF had little trouble scoring on the other end of the basket. When they had to step back and defend, the Bankmen’s inability to set up plays made it all the more easier for them.

Vijaya Bank once again relied heavily on Arvind (29) to deliver and the power-forward did put on a good show at both ends of the court but it wasn’t enough when the rest of the outfit had given in.

Arvind inspired his side to within three points (76-79) of IAF with 1.46 left on the clock in the fourth quarter but he missed a couple of crucial free throws to let IAF off the hook.

Karnataka eves too suffered a similiar fate in the day’s last match. Trailing Delhi by a mere two points at half-time, the girls looked set to pull off their first win but once again they gave succumbed to pressure and went down 77-82 to a Delhi side spearheaded by the sharp-shooting Raspreeth Sidhu (44).

In a Group ‘B’ match, ONGC posted a 96-59 win over Jind District a day after they steamrollered South Central Railway 83-56.

Results: Men: Group ‘A’: Indian Air Force: 85 (Joginder Singh 24, Narender Grewal 31, Praveen Kumar 11) bt Vijaya Bank: 76 (Arvind 29, Srinivas Naik 15, Basavaraj 12). HT: 45-33; Central Excise and Customs, Kerala: 88 (R Manoj 33, E Perera 19, Nikhil 13) bt Captain’s Club, Delhi: 63 (Praveen Dovan 28, Devesh Nair 12). HT: 45-33; Punjab Police: 74 (Amritpal Singh 23, Ranbeer 17, Palpreeth Singh 15) bt Captain’s Club, Delhi: 53 (Vinay Kaushik 16, Praveen Dovan 15, Sachin Sharma 10). HT: 36-32.
Group ‘B’: ONGC, Uttarakhand: 96 (Riyazuddin 18, Mohit Bhandari 14, Vishesh Bruguwanshi 14) bt Jind District, Haryana: 59 (Deepak Rahi 16, Sukhbir Singh 15). HT: 56-32; Indian Overseas Bank, Chennai: 80 (Rikhin 21, Harish 15, Raghu Ram 13) bt South Central Railways: 45 (Sujith 17). HT: 39-24.
Women: Group ‘A’: South East Central Railway: 79 (M Pushpa 30, Seema Singh 16, Akansha Singh 15) bt Kerala: 68 (Surya 25, PS Jina 16, Stephy Nixon 14). HT: 43-23; Delhi: 82 (Raspreeth Sidhu 44, Madhu Kumari 21) bt Karnataka: 77 (PU Navnita 23, LS Savita 16, Roshini 16). HT: 35-33. Group ‘B’: Tamil Nadu: 64 (Anita Paul 27, Apoorva M 18, Adhrai M 10) bt Chhattisgarh: 57 (Poonam C 22, Sangeetha 14, Saranjeeth 16). HT: 39-25; Maharashtra: 89 (Manisha 23, Renu 20) bt Andhra Pradesh: 41 (Shravanthi 12, Surya 12). HT: 51-17.
Today’s schedule: Men: Group A: Vijaya Bank vs Punjab Police (10.00 am); CEC vs IAF (11.30 am); Vijaya Bank vs Captain’s Club, Delhi (7.00 pm); Punjab Police vs CEC (8.30 pm). Group B: ONGC vs IOB (4.00 pm); Jind District, Haryana vs South Central Railway (6.00 pm).
Women: Group A: Delhi vs Kerala (7.00 am); Karnataka vs South East Central Railway (8.30 am); Delhi vs SECR (5.30 pm). Group B: Tamil Nadu vs Maharashtra (2.30 pm); AP vs Chhattisgarh (7.30 pm).

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