Basketball Nationals: Railways ousts Kerala, to face Chhattisgarh in final

Having edged out defending champion Kerala 76-63 in the semifinal, the Railways team will take on Chhattisgarh in the final of the Senior National Basketball Championship on Wednesday.

Sruti Menon (5) of Railways in action against Kerala on Tuesday.   -  K. Pichumani

Railways continued its unbeaten run to beat defending champion Kerala 76-63 (22-17, 23-16, 15-7, 16-23) in the women's semifinal of the senior National basketball championship at the Nehru indoor stadium on Tuesday.

Railways captain Navaneetha top-scored with 21 points and scored eight times out of her twelve attempts from inside. While either team had made 16 points from turnovers, Kerala obtained 22 second chance points and 12 bench points, compared to Railways' 14 and 11. However, Railways had secured the most fast break points - 12 to Kerala's 2.

Monday's report: Punjab pips Uttarakhand, TN bows out

Lagging at 52-67 with a little more than three minutes to go in the last quarter, Kerala desperately tried to draw level. But it could only manage five points to get the score to 57-67. Railways, then, was on a seven-point spree to make it 74-57 towards the end.

Chhattisgarh pipped Karnataka 79-78 (19-15, 17-15, 12-24, 30-25) in the other women's semifinal. Karnataka came agonisingly close to forcing a tie. The match had dramatically come down to a free throw and Roshini Rosa John had to convert all three attempts for Karnataka to draw level 79-79 from 76-79. She scored off the first two.

Chhattisgarh's Poonam Chaturvedi top-scored with 44 points - the most by any player in a match this edition. She scored 18 times out of a staggering 31 attempts from inside.

In the men's semifinal, Services posted a comfortable 93-45 (23-22, 27-10, 20-12, 23-21) win over Railways. Services, like Railways women, is unbeaten in the tournament so far.

The results (semifinals): Men: Services 93 (Narendra Grehwal 18) bt Railways 65 (Gagandeep Singh 18); Tamil Nadu 90 (A. Aravind 24) bt Punjab 72 (Satnam Singh 21).

Women: Railways 76 (P.U. Navaneetha 21) bt Kerala 63 (Grima Merlin 21); Chhattisgarh 79 (Poonam Chaturvedi 44) bt Karnataka 78 (H.M. Bhandavya 25)