Karnataka make splendid start

Karnataka men made a sound start to their campaign in the 64th National Basketball Championship by outplaying Chandigarh 78-58 in the opening Group D match at the Thyagaraj Stadium on Wednesday.

Karnataka took an early lead on the back of good passing and some swift turnovers. While Chandigarh managed to make it a close affair in the first quarter, where they trailed 20-26, Karnataka were quick to increase the gap to 48-31 in the second. The Chandigarh side frequently missed shots and free throws to make recovery difficult for them in the remaining quarters. 

For Karnataka, A Arvind (36) and Dheeraj Shetty (14) were the top scorers. However, it was Rajesh Uppar who stole the show by deftly opening up the chances and spreading the ball around well. Coach Vijendra Devadasen was satisfied with his boys’ performance.

“In the lower groups, Chandigarh is a tough team. So we are happy the way we have started. We will be taking game by game,” Devdasen said.

The men’s defending champions Uttarakhand edged past an irrepressible Indian Railways 68-62.  

The scores were levelled at 15 in the first quarter before Uttarakhand dug deep to go up 28-26 at half time. But the Railways set up an enticing final quarter by nosing ahead 45-39 in the third. In the decider, the holders brought out their best to come out on top.

Amritpal Singh scored a double-double with 25 points (22 rebounds), Riyaz Uddin 13 (two 3 pointers) and Yadwinder Singh finished with 12 points for Uttarakhand.

Gagandeep Singh scored 20 and Prakash Mishra 10 points for Indian Railways.

The defending women’s champions, Indian Railways began the search of their 11th successive title by brushing aside West Bengal 68-40. They led 37-27 at half time.

Railways were led by Anju Lakra, who scored 13 points followed by Manisha Dange, Krishnan Radha and S Kokila, who racked up 12 points apiece.

Results: Men: Punjab: 92 bt Andhra Pradesh: 44; Uttar Pradesh: 62 bt Goa: 27;  Haryana: 86 bt West Bengal: 61; Jharkhand: 64 bt Bihar:45; Services:101 bt Rajasthan: 57; Madhya Pradesh: 69 bt bt Mizoram:52; Uttarakhand: 68 bt Indian Railways: 62; Chhattisgarh: 69 bt Delhi: 46;  Karnataka: 78 bt Chandigarh:58; Jammu & Kashmir: 68 bt Pondicherry: 62.
Women: Indian Railways:68 bt West Bengal:40; Andhra Pradesh: 75 bt Himachal Pradesh:60; Punjab:79 (Nagma Mirza 16, Kirandeep Kaur 15, Harjeet Kaur 13, Nirmal Kaur 13) bt Madhya Pradesh:59 (Jhilik Roy 24, Sakshi Pandey 15); Rajasthan:61 bt Chandigarh:26; Tamil Nadu:63 bt Maharashtra:20; Bihar:51 bt Assam:50; Uttar Pradesh:50  bt Haryana:26.

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