Vijaya Bank regain 'A' Division title

Riding on the heroics of a couple of youngsters, Vijaya Bank regained the State ‘A’ Division basketball title following a 84-66 win over defending champions MEG at the Sree Kanteerava stadium here on Saturday.

After having made their way through the league undefeated, the teams brought out their wares and the crowd was thoroughly entertained during the course of the virtual final.

While MEG looked in line to retain the title they had won last year, Vijaya Bank put on a show worthy of champions to be crowned for the 20th time.

With the best hoopsters from the State lining up, Vijaya Bank held the clear edge in terms of height but with the seasoned Arokya Babu (16 points) and Sridhar dictating the speed of the game, the Bankmen fell behind by three points at the end of the first quarter (12-15).

MEG stuck to the same pace but Vijaya Bank, realising the possibility of being outrun, gave shooting-guard Anil Kumar (24) and power-forward Arvind (22) more responsibility with the ball and the new-signings, who had delivered for them during the recently held Federation Cup, stepped it up.

Combined with Arvind’s prowess at the low-post and Anil’s shooting range, Vijaya Bank rallied to lead 33-30 at the half-time.  

Returning from the break, MEG continued to find it hard to score. While they were adept on the defence and managed to cut down Vijaya Bank’s scoring opportunities, they were unable to find the rim themselves.

Short-forward Gigin and Arokya, meanwhile, kept MEG within striking distance for a while before their team-mate Subbaiah was fouled out. With their premier guard and shooter out of the game, MEG had little left and Vijaya Bank capitalised to complete the formalities rather easily in the end.
Meanwhile, VBC (Mandya) and Bharath Sports Union were relegated to ‘B’ division for the next reason while ‘B’ Division winners Beagles and runners-up BSNL were promoted to the ‘A’ Division.
Results: ‘A’ Division: Vijaya Bank: 84 (Anil Kumar 24, Arvind 22) bt MEG: 66 (Arokya Babu 16, Gigin 9). HT: 33-30.

Standings: ‘A’ Division: Vijaya Bank 1; MEG 2.
‘B’ Division: Beagles 1; BSNL 2.
‘C’ Division: IBBC 1; Rising Star, Mysore.

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