Super ONGC reign supreme

Oilmen crush hapless IOB; Tamil Nadu wear womens crown

Super ONGC reign supreme

Vishesh Briguwanshi came up with an impressive show as ONGC thumped a hapless Indian Overseas Bank 72-46 to clinch the Federation Cup men’s crown at the Sree Kanteerava stadium here on Sunday.

With as many as six internationals in their side -- including Indian skipper Briguwanshi — the Uttarakhand team put on a stunning show in the final.

It was almost certain after mere minutes that ONGC were going to have it easy. IOB for their part showed a lot of grit and commitment during the game but the lacked the skill and the finishing abilities to threaten the National champions.

Starting with the same five as they have all season — Briguwanshi, Trideep Rai, Anoop, Yadwinder Singh and Murli Krishna — Durgesh Bhatia’s men hounded Chennai side’ defensive set-up from the word go.

Trideep Rai (17), who had a tough time in this tournament, finally found his groove and knocked down shots from inside and outside the ‘D’ with little emotion at the end of it. His ward, Briguwanshi (18), was once again stunningly effective on the day, but nothing else he did could possibly summarise his skill as the cross-over he performed to get past IOB’s Pratham Singh in the second quarter.

The point-guard helped ONGC gallop to a commanding 37-16 at half-time as IOB went out looking well and truly out of the game.

Nothing much changed for the two quarters that followed. In fact, ONGC brought out their bench to get some game time while IOB were left to lick wounds.

Earlier, in the women’ final, Tamil Nadu had to ward off a stiff challenge from Maharashtra before registering a thrilling 63-62 victory.

Tamil Nadu eves were expected to steam-roll their opponents but the champions met a side willing to put everything on the line.

Manisha Dange (17) and Shrin Limaye (14) were the ones who helped Maharashtra score but it was their constantly adapting defensive line-up that deserved all credit for isolating Tamil Nadu’s offensive in no-man’s land more often than not.

Maharashtra charged to a 21-12 lead at the end of first quarter but Tamil Nadu, powered by P Anitha (22) and Raja R Priyadarshini (17), managed to claim the lead minutes into the second quarter and extended it at half-time to 38-31. 

Returning from the break, Maharashtra looked as feisty but TN’s offense countered with a string of comfortable set plays that broke their opponents.

Despite it all, Maharashtra remained close to TN’s score and the title was to be decided with one minute left on the clock.

With the score on 62-61 in favour of Maharashtra, it was TN’s turn to try and make a game out of it. Priyadarshini was handed the ball to post on the right and the lanky lass converted a turn-around hook with the defender’s arm in her face.

TN led 63-62 with 9 seconds left and held onto it until the final whistle. Briguwanshi and TN’s P Anitha bagged the ‘Most Valuable Player’ honours in the men’s and women’s categories respectively.

Results: Men (final): ONGC: 72 (Vishesh Briguwanshi 18, Trideep Rai 17, M Riyazuddin 17, Yadwinder Singh 12) bt IOB: 46 (Mihir Pandey 16). HT: 37-16.
Third-place play-off: Punjab Police: 86 (Ranbeer Singh 25, Amritpal Singh 25, Amrinder Singh 12, Harminder Singh 11, Harvinder Singh 9) bt IAF: 66 (Narender Grewal 16, Joginder Singh 12, Shivraj Singh 11, Praveen Kumar 10). HT: 46-37.
Women (final): Tamil Nadu: 63 (P Anitha 22, Raja R Priyadarshini 17,M Adhirai 10) bt Maharashtra: 62 (Manisha Dange 17, Shrin Limaye 14, Radha Krishnan 12). HT: 38-31.

Third-place play-off: Kerala: 88 (PS Jeena 25, PR Surya 23, P Lijimol 22) bt South East Central Railway: 66 (M Pushpa 18, Kavitha 13, Bharti Netam 13). HT: 33-37.

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