Basketball Nationals: Uttarakhand, Karnataka secure Q/F berth

Uttarakhand survived a tough test against Karnataka to finish their group stage engagements on a high. Meanwhile in the women's section, Kerala made it four wins in a row by beating Telangana.

Uttarakhand's Muruli Krisha (Blue) scoring aganist Karnataka in the Senior National Basketball Championship in Mysuru on Wednesday at Chamundivihar Stadum   -  M. A. Sriram

Uttarakhand survived a tough test against Karnataka to finish their group stage engagements on a high, at the Chamundi Vihar Stadium here on Wednesday.

The defending champions – who have lost just one of four outings so far - booked a quarterfinal spot in the men's section of the Senior national basketball championship. Despite slipping to a third loss, Karnataka also sneaked through to the last-eight, edging out Delhi and Haryana on the basis of point-difference. While Haryana made it to the pre-quarterfinals (as the fourth-placed team from Group 'A'), Delhi has been knocked out of the competition.

Determined to put on a show in front of an adoring crowd, the Karnataka side showed good hustle to startle Uttarakhand early. The young hoopsters outran their bigger rivals, and held the lead briefly in the first-quarter. The visitor's dependable triumvirate - shooting guard Trideep Rai (24 pts), India captain Vishesh Bhriguvanshi (20 pts), and big man Murali Krishna (13 pts) - then began to take control. Uttarakhand's size advantage also started to take effect, as Karnataka lost out on rebounds. The match eventually finished 65-58 in favour of Bhriguvanshi's men.

Punjab, meanwhile, brushed aside Haryana 83-66 to finish on top of Group 'A'. Point guard T.J. Sahi called the shots - his quickness, court vision and sublime ball-control proving to be a treat to watch.

In the women's section, Kerala's juggernaut continued. P.S. Jeena and Stephy Nixon - both have been prolific in this tournament - ensured that the side shut out Telangana 72-46. Kerala is on a four-match unbeaten streak, and alongside the equally impressive Railways, have emerged as a strong title contender.

The results:

Men:

Level 1: Railways 84 (S. Somvier 28, Palpreet Singh 21, Himanshu Sharma 12) bt Kerala 70 (Eudrick Periera 16, Ashwin Xavier Philip 15, Monish Wilson 14); Uttarakhand 65 (Trideep Rai 24, Vishesh Bhriguvanshi 20, Murali Krishna 13) bt Karnataka 58 (Sanil Sashi 11, Anil Kumar 10); Punjab 83 (Gagandeep Singh 20, T.J. Sahi 18, Rajveer Singh 13, Arshpreet Bhullar 12) bt Haryana 66 (V. Virendra 23, B. Bijendra 11, Satyajeet 12).

Women:

Level 1:

Railways 68 (Raja Priyadarshini 19, Anitha Pauldurai 12, Sruthi Menon 10) bt Karnataka 49 (H.M. Bhandavya 13, Savita 10, Lopamudra 10); Maharashtra 73 (Manisha Dange 22, Shireen Limaye 18, Sangeeta Mandal 18) bt MP 56 (Sakshi Pandey 18); Tamil Nadu 57 (R. Varshanandini 20, K. Prithi 11, Renjini Peter 10) bt Punjab 37 (Harpreet Kaur 13, Indu Kumari 11); Kerala 72 (P.S. Jeena 20, Stephy Nixon 14, Neenumol 13) bt Telangana 46 (P. Divya 13).

Men:

Quarterfinal entries: Karnataka, Services, Railways, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Tamil Nadu

Pre-quarterfinal: Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Gujarat

Women:

Quarterfinal entries: Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Railways

Pre-quarterfinal: Punjab, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, West Bengal