National C’ship: Tamil Nadu men clinch 10th title

Railways defeated Chhattisgarh in the women’s final for its 28th title in 32 years.

The Tamil Nadu team with the trophy in Chennai on Wednesday.   -  K. Pichumani

Tamil Nadu beat Services 94-86 (20-22, 21-18, 27-23, 26-23) in the final to emerge the men’s champion of the senior National basketball championship at the Nehru indoor stadium here on Wednesday. This is Tamil Nadu’s 10th title in the men’s category.

Rikin Pethani (25 points) was the top-scorer for Tamil Nadu, and Joginder Singh (23) for Services.

Railways beat Chhattisgarh 100-71 (19-16, 24-17, 34-21, 23-17) in the women’s final for its 28th title in 32 years. Its captain P. U. Navaneetha top-scored with 30 points. Poonam Chaturvedi, who was cheered by the crowd when she collected her medal, top-scored with 27 for Chhattisgarh.

Delayed start

Services, which reported late, further delaying the already delayed start, had to play catch up for the most part of the first quarter. It was 11-12, 15-16 and edged ahead 19-18, 22-20.

Tamil Nadu, which started with forwards Prasanna Venkatesh and Justin, centers Aravind and Rikin, and point guard Akilan, tried a lot of quick side-passing initially, looking and posturing straight while doing so.

Tamil Nadu led 41-40 at half time.

In the third quarter, Raghu Ram scored off all three attempts of a free throw for Tamil Nadu to go ahead 50-44. But Prasanna missed to score off two attempts of a free throw when Tamil Nadu was ahead 57-50. He was involved in two fast breaks in the quarter, and attempted cherry picking - immediately after Mahipal Singh missed to score off two attempts of a free throw, Aravind overshot his intended pass to Prasanna as the ball went off-court. Aravind, Rikin, and Prasanna seemed to have better understanding and coordination between them.

Tamil Nadu led 68-63 by the end of the third quarter.

In the last quarter, Services’ Jairam Jaat (15 points) remarkably scored from the extreme left corner. Another highlight was Tamil Nadu captain Raghu Ram jumping and shooting backwards from inside.

The results (finals)
  • Men: Tamil Nadu 94 (Rikin Pethani 25) bt Services 86 (Joginder Singh 23);
  • Women: Railways 100 (P.U. Navaneetha 30) bt Chhattisgarh 71 (Poonam Chaturvedi 27).