Fed Cup: ONGC makes it four in a row

Most Valuable Player Vishesh Bhriguvanshi scored 20 points to help ONGC defeat IOB 73-57 in the men's final of the Federation Cup basketball tournament. In the women’s section, Kerala lifted the title after defeating Chhattisgarh 80-71.

Kerala women's team poses with the trophy after defeating Chhattisgarh in the final of the Federation Cup basketball tournament in Panjim on Monday.

A stellar show by Vishesh Bhriguvanshi helped ONGC (Dehradun) stop a spirited IOB (Chennai) in the men's final of the Federation Cup basketball tournament here on Monday.

India international Bhriguvanshi (20 points, 9 rebounds) took over late in the third-quarter, just as IOB (Chennai) was beginning to get into the groove. With IOB up 53-51, Bhriguvanshi converted two exceptional layups in transition, and from this point on, ONGC never lost faith.

The first 10 minutes, however, witnessed one-way traffic. Troubled by Yadwinder Singh's energetic defence, IOB stared at a huge 27-5 deficit at the end of the first-quarter, but staged a valiant comeback to narrow the lead to 31-26 at half-time.

After the restart, both teams ran neck and neck, before Bhriguvanshi carried ONGC to a fourth-straight Federation Cup title.

In the women's section, an all-round show from Kerala took the side past Chhattisgarh. The primary ploy of Chhattisgarh — to pass the ball to the 6' 11” Poonam Chaturvedi (33 points) under the basket — worked in spurts, but it was not enough.

Kerala, on the other hand, possessed far too many weapons. Centre Stephy Nixon (26 pts), P.S. Jeena (22 pts, 9 rebounds) and P.S. Neenumol (21 pts) were unstoppable, and the 19 offensive rebounds collected gave the champion plenty of second chances to score.

The results:

Final:

Men: ONGC (Dehradun) 73 (Vishesh Bhriguvanshi 20, Yadwinder Singh 17, Trideep Rai 15, Riyazuddin 14) bt IOB (Chennai) 57 (Pratham Singh 25, Aravind Annadurai 13).

Women: Kerala 80 (Stephy Nixon 26, P.S. Jeena 22, P.S. Neenumol 21) bt Chhattisgarh 71 (Poonam Chaturvedi 33, Sharanjeet Kaur 21, V. Riya 12).

Third-place playoff:

Men: Army Red bt Vijaya Bank 76-66; Women: Telangana bt Southeast Central Railways 65-56.

Individual awards:

Most Valuable Player: Men: Vishesh Bhriguvanshi (ONGC); Women: Poonam Chaturvedi (Chhattisgarh)