Income Tax Chennai lifts PSG Trophy

Jeevanandham did the star turn when it mattered most as favourite Income Tax (Chennai) edged out a fighting Vijaya Bank (Bengaluru) 82-78 in the final of 54th All India Basketball tournament.

The Income Tax Chennai team after winning the PSG Trophy.   -  Special Arrangement

Jeevanandham did the star turn when it mattered most as favourite Income Tax (Chennai) edged out a fighting Vijaya Bank (Bengaluru) 82-78 in the final that went overtime in the 54th all India basketball tournament for men for the PSG Trophy at the PSG Indoor Sports Complex courts here on Thursday night.

The Income Tax men were confident of winning the title as they had twice beaten (league & knockout) their opponent in an all India event in Bengaluru last month. But, this time around, Vijaya Bank looked better prepared for the fight.

The Bank men, known for their strong counter, played an equally attacking game and were up by two points after the first two quarters. They continued to work hard in the third but Income Tax played one better to storm into a seven-point lead before surrendering it midway through.

With both teams pressing hard for precious points, the final quarter was as exciting as the third and eventually ended in a tie (71-71). The extra time (five minutes) came into play and, it was at this juncture that Jeevanandham worked magic for the team. A new recruit as he is, he wanted to dish out something extra special and it came in the form of three delightful baskets (six points) under pressure.

The daringness to enter the rival citadel that was well guarded later came in for some praise by Syed Hakkem, the player-cum-coach of the team. “Jeevanandham stole it all. He shot three crucial baskets and we grabbed the opportunity, strengthened our defence and hung on to win the title.”

It would have been a different ball game altogether had we come in full strength,” added Hakkem.

Jeevanandham quite deservedly walked away with the ‘Player of the Tournament’ award and a cash prize of ₹ 10,000.

Income Tax went home richer by Rs. 1,00,000 and Vijaya Bank by Rs. 50,000.

The results

Final: Income Tax (Chennai) 82 (Jeevanandham 36, Ram Kumar 17, Raghuram 11) bt Vijaya Bank (Bengaluru) 78 (A. Aravind 23, B.K. Anil Kumar 20, N. Nagaraj 11). Third place: Indian Bank (Chennai) 82 (Muin Bek 20, A. Surya 20, P. Bala Dhaneshwar 19) bt Indian Railways (Delhi) 70 (Loveneeth 27, Arshdeep Singh 14).

Player of the tournament: Jeevanandham (Income Tax).