Karnataka storms into semifinals; to play Services

Karnataka has made it to the semifinal after almost 15 years. Later, Tamil Nadu survived a scare before ousting Haryana and entering the semifinals.

Action between Karnataka and Railways in the quarterfinal of the Senior Men's Basketball Championship.   -  Vijay Soneji

Karnataka came from behind yet again to defeat Indian Railways 83-67 in a men’s quarterfinal clash of the 69th senior National basketball championship at the Sidsar Sports Complex courts here on Thursday.

Interestingly, the team has made it to the semifinal after almost 15 years. Karnataka had surprised defending champion Tamil Nadu in the league stages and today it was Railway’s turn. It worked out a similar strategy (change in defence pattern) as it did against Tamil Nadu and it clicked.

In fact, Karnataka trailed in the first two quarters but it applied full court pressure in the next two sessions to take the lead and seal a win. M. Harissh (23 pts), A. Arvind (21pts) and V.K. Anil Kumar (17 pts) were once again the pick of the scorers for the team.

TN survives scare

Tamil Nadu and Services, the top two teams, also sealed the last four berth. The former kept its cool in the final minutes of the game to oust Haryana 77-75 and the latter, on the other hand, hammered Rajasthan 104-69. Punjab was the other team to make it to the last four.

In the women’s section, the Karnataka women failed to inspire going down 80-100 to Chhattisgarh, which had the lean and lanky Poonam Chaturvedi scoring a tournament-high of 56 points. But defending champion Indian Railway cruised to a comfortable 94-51 win over an off-colour Punjab.

Earlier, the in-form S. Pushpa (24 pts) doubled up her efforts to steer Tamil Nadu to a 75-57 win over Telangana for a place in the last four. The win was expected considering the quality and consistency of its players. It will take on Kerala, which scored a facile 84-55 win over Delhi.

The results (Quarterfinals)

Men: Punjab 74 (Gurvinder 24, Ashpreet Bhullar 17, Amritpal Singh 11) bt Uttarakhand 53 (Vishesh Bhriguvanshi 14, Yadwinder 17, Riaz 12). Karnataka 83 (A. Arvind 23, M. Harissh 21, V.K. Anil Kumar 17) bt Indian Railway 67 (Rakesh Singh 19, Prakash Mishra 17). Services 104 (Isaac Thomas 21, Mahipal Singh 19, Joginder Singh 18, Hemanth Sheoran 15) bt Rajasthan 69.(Kamran Khan 24, Sharath Dhadichehi 21, Gaurav Chandel 10). Tamil Nadu 77 (R. Hariram 21, Justin Joseph 15, P. Jeevanantham 15) bt Haryana 75 (Rinku 21, Vikash Kumar 18, Abishek 12).

Women: Chhattisgarh 100 (Ponnam Chaturvedi 56, Seema Singh 17, Akansha Singh 11, Deepa 11) bt Karnataka 80 (Varsha Nandini 35, Lopadmudra 20). Tamil Nadu 75 (Pushpa 24, Sathya 13, Srividhya 12, Nishanthi 12) bt Telangana 57 (Monika Polasa 28, Saguna 12). Kerala 84 (P.S. Poojamol 21, P.S. Jeena 17, Rojamol 12, P.S. Anjana 18) bt Delhi 55 (Raspreet Sandhu 31, Bharti Sihag 10). Indian Railway 94 (Madhu Kumari 21, Bhandavia 17, Raja Priyadarshini 15, Gulabsha Ali 10)) bt Punjab 51 (Gangandeep 14, Anmolpreet 12, Samriti 10).

Semifinal line-up:

Men: TN vs. Punjab; Services vs. Karnataka. Women: TN vs. Kerala; Indian Railway vs. Chhattisgarh.