ICF thump Karnataka to storm into semis

ICF thump Karnataka to storm into semis

ICF thump Karnataka to storm into semis

Integral Coach Factory (ICF) powered to the semifinals with a dominant 71-40 win over Karnataka State team in their Group B tie of the Mulki Sunder Ram Shetty All-India basketball tournament at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium here on Friday.

K Mukunth scored a game-high 21 points for ICF while P Vijay continued his impressive form and added 18. GA Anto Bethle also contributed seven. For Karnataka, Shashank Rai top-scored with 10 points.

ICF faced little trouble in ousting a young Karnataka side, who were outclassed in every aspect of the game. Failure to convert throws from distance and inside the paint did not help their cause either. ICF, on the other hand, were quick on the break and caused plenty of troubles with their movements and passes.

Bethle, picking up from where he had left off, was a constant nuisance for Karnataka. He combined well with Vijay as ICF raced to a 31-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.

ICF extended the gap by 34 points in the next 10 minutes on the back of Jaya Venkatesh's good performance. He shared some of the scoring load with Vijay, whose thunderous dunk, seconds after Suresh scored Karnataka's first points of the quarter, pumped up the team. ICF led 47-13 at half-time.

ICF kept the scoreboard ticking in the third through Venkatesh, Mukunth and Vijay and went up 60-22. Karnakata showed some signs of life in the last 10 minutes, outscoring the Factorymen 18-11 but it was too little too late. ICF comfortably claimed the game 71-40.

In the day's second game, Chennai Customs caused a big upset, beating Income Tax (IT) 86-69.

Both Customs and IT have two wins out of three but the former made it to the last four on the basis of a better cumulative points difference, which puts them second on the table below ICF. Karnataka, having lost all their group stage games, are out of the contention.

In Group A, Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) climbed to the top after edging Vijaya Bank 83-81. IOB will face Customs for a place in the final on Saturday while the hosts will meet ICF.

Results: Group A: Indian Overseas Bank: 83 bt Vijaya Bank: 81.

Group B: Integral Coach Factory: 71 (K Mukunth 21, P Vijay 18) bt Karnataka State team: 40 (Shashank Rai 10); Chennai Customs: 86 (Justin 38, Suresh Kumar 20) bt Income Tax: 69 (Rikin Pethani 19, Ram Kumar 21).

Semifinal line-up: Chennai Customs vs Indian Overseas Bank (5.30 pm); Integral Coach Factory vs Vijaya Bank (6.45 pm).