The Karnataka men’s team has never been a contender in nearly five decades. Its women’s team has fared rather better, finishing runner-up way back in 1986.
In a Group-B contest of the 71st Senior National basketball championships at the Nehru Indoor Stadium on Sunday, Karnataka with full support from three senior players–Shashank J Rai, A. Arvind and B.K. Anil Kumar–showed a small glimpse of its potential, by upsetting multiple-time champion Services 117-76.
Earlier, defending champion Punjab got off to a blazing start as it pummelled Gujarat 105-69 in a Group A opening men's tie. Punjab never let down its guard in any of the quarter and maintained a healthy lead throughout, with Amjyot Singh Gill top-scoring with 27 points.
Indian Railways women eased past host Tamil Nadu 100-62 in a Group-A match.
While the Karnataka-Services tie was one-sided from the first quarter, Services did put up a fight in the second quarter (18-25). Joginder Singh and Gaurav Chandel shared the bulk of the scoring with 15 and 18 points respectively. Karnataka’s Anil Kumar emerged the top-scorer with 28 while Arvind scored 25 points. Anil converted four three-pointers out of six attempts that altered the proceedings from time to time.
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