Basketball: All Stars loses a toughly fought battle to Hawks

P. S. Jeena led the battle for Kerala All Stars, scoring 20 points, but the team went down 59-70 to Ringwood Hawks.

Representational image.   -  GETTY IMAGES

The first few minutes against the Ringwood Hawks left it gasping. The Kerala All Stars, the national champion, had not come up against this sort of speed ever.

It fumbled and the Australian side raced to a 13-1 lead within the first few minutes and looked good to hit a hundred. But the Kerala girls proved to be quick learners and in the end they lost by 11 points (59-70).

“We had no idea how to manage them in the first two quarters, we fumbled. But after half-time, once we set up pressure defence, we fared better,” said P. S. Jeena, the Kerala captain and currently the country’s best player.

“They are very, very quick… in everything. But I think we can do better in the next few games.”

Jeena certainly impressed the Australians and she led the scoring charts too with 20 points with P. G. Anjana scoring one less. So would the Hawks be interested in signing her, like they did Geethu Anna Jose some nine years ago?

“Jeena certainly looked good, also Grima Merlin. I think if they keep showing their wares consistently, they can get some good opportunity in some of our clubs,” said Tim Mottin, the Hawks coach.

“I’m looking at every game, I’m going to be watching some particular players.”

The series, organised by Team Rebound – a collective of former basketball players – had a very colourful start with lovely lights and it had a good crowd too.

For the visitors, Inez Lie, who has her roots in Indonesia, caught the eye with her lightning speed, quick reflexes and lovely assists.

“It was fun. I think it took a little bit of time for both teams to understand each other’s style of play. Kerala changed its style and its defence in the second half and did very well in trapping the opponents.

The next match will be held in Thrissur on November 7.

RESULT

Ringwood Hawks 70 (Cassidy Milhalko 15, Danielle Bone 14) beat Kerala All Stars (P.S. Jeena 20, P.G. Anjana 19).