Karnataka exit in quarterfinals

Karnataka men and women enjoyed a fine run en route to the quarterfinals of the 64th National Basketball Championships on Monday, but their campaign hit a dead end as they failed to progress further.

The men, who had scored a 90-77 win over Rajasthan in a one-sided pre-quarterfinal contest earlier in the day, put on a gritty show against tournament favourites Tamil Nadu in the last-eight stage but they could not sustain their intensity in the second half as they crumbled to a 54-87 loss.

The women -- on a high after getting the better of Andhra Pradesh 84-72 in their pre-quarterfinal tie -- looked in fine fettle but they could not get past the Krittika Divakar-led Mahrashtra as they went down 58-72. 

The men will now play Indian Railways, while the women will have a crack against Kerala in the play-off matches for 5-8th positions.

Karnataka men’s coach Vijendra Devadasen said his wards were tired after playing seven days on trot. He, however, felt it was an achievement for the team to make it to the quarterfinals after starting the tournament from lower Group ‘D’.

“Tamil Nadu played quite well. But our boys gave up after half-time. They have been playing without a rest day and had to play in the morning as well. We also missed some of the players because of exams. But we are back to the elite group next year and that’s an achievement,” Devadasen said.  

International Pratham Singh (16 points) and Vineeth Revi Mathew (18 points) combined well to rack up quick points for Tamil Nadu and despite Karnataka giving their all, they managed to build a 10-point lead at half time. Tamil Nadu’s strong defence also prevented Karnataka from making shots early.

By the third quarter, Karnataka had begun to slump and Tamil Nadu romped into the final period with a 20-point lead. They maintained their stranglehold in the match till the final buzzer and even several substitutions didn’t compromise their lead.

Railways were outplayed by Services 104-72. Gopal Ram top-scored for Services with 29 points. 

Services now play Tamil Nadu for a place in the final.

Defending champions Uttarakhand, too, entered the semifinals defeating Kerala 93-74. They next meet Punjab, who beat Haryana 89-62.    

In the women’s section, Delhi entered the semifinals outclassing Punjab 111-58. Delhi now play defending champions Indian Railways who brushed aside Tamil Nadu 90-50. Chhattisgarh ended the fine run of Kerala girls with a 76-46 victory in the other quarterfinals. Chhattisgarh will take on Maharashtra in the semifinals.

Results (quarterfinals): Men: Services: 104 (Gopal Ram 29, Narender Grewal 21, Jairam 18, Joginder Singh 13) bt Railways: 72 (Ankur Anand Singh 21, Prakesh Mishra 12, Hirendra S Rahtoree 10). HT: 57-32.

Uttarakhand: 93 (Amritpal Singh 50, Yadwinder Singh 17) bt Kerala: 74 (Monish Nilson 19, Jomon Jose 15, Basil Philip 16). HT: 48-38.

Tamil Nadu: 87 (Vineeth Revi Mathew 18, Pratham Singh 16, Rikin Pethani 15) bt Karnataka: 54 (Dheeraj Shetty 16, BK Anil Kumar 12).

Punjab bt Haryana 89-62.

Semifinal line-up: Tamil Nadu vs Services; Uttarakhand vs Punjab.

Women: Chhattisgarh: 76 (Kavita 24, Bharti Herati 14, Farhat Anjum 14) bt Kerala: 46 (Neenumol PS 15). HT: 27-25.

Delhi: 111 (Prashanti Singh 29, Raspreet Sidhu 23, Pratima Singh 16, Madhu Kumari 12) bt Punjab: 58 (Nagma Mirza 23, Nirmal Kumar 13, Kiranjit Kaur 11). HT: 43-28.

Railways: 90 (M Pushpa 15, Smruthi Radhakrishan 15, Geetu Anna Jose 14, Anju Lakra 11) bt Tamil Nadu: 50 (R Alagu 19, Appoora Muralin 14). HT: 49-28.

Maharashtra: 77 (Krittika Divakar 27) bt Karnataka: 58 (Savitha 12).

Semifinal line-up: Chhattisgarh vs Maharashtra; Indian Railways vs Delhi.

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