Defending champion Indian Railways opened its campaign in the women’s section with a resounding 82-47 win over Karnataka in the 69th senior national basketball championship at the Sisdar Sports Complex courts on Saturday.

It was a totally new environment for the teams but the Railways women had seen the best and worst of it.

They quickly settled down on the new indoor sports complex, inaugurated by Vijaybhai Rupani, the Gujarat Chief Minister earlier in the day, and started firing from all cylinders.

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Madhu Kumari (19 pts), as usual, was at her best and she got ample support from Sitamani (14 pts) and Sruthi Menon (11 pts).

Strong contender Tamil Nadu also had a relatively easy day out. With Pushpa (22 pts) in full flow, the Delhi women found it pretty hot from the start. Sathiya (15 pts) and Dharshini (14 pts) played their part as well for the team.

In the men’s section, hot favourite Punjab, riding on the brilliance of Jagdeep Singh (21 pts), got past a fighting Karnataka 85-77.