Vijaya Bank clinches Mulki Sunder Ram Shetty basketball title

Vijaya Bank defeated Indian Bank 86-82 in a tightly contested final to win the Mulki Sunder Ram Shetty all-India basketball tournament.

Host Vijaya Bank edged out Indian Bank 86-82 in the final of the Mulki Sunder Ram Shetty all-India basketball tournament, held at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium here on Sunday.

The summit clash went down to the wire. It was Indian Bank which took a slender 45-43 lead at the end of the first-half. India international R. Hariram (34 points) and A. Surya (20 points) found the mark with their mid-range jumpers, while Vijaya Bank relied on Aravind Arumugam (38 points) to do the scoring.

In the third quarter, Vijaya Bank went ahead 65-59 on the back of tight marking and clinical fast-break plays. With five minutes to go, the home team was up 72-70. Hariram (34 points) then brought Indian Bank level by converting a fine double-pump layup, after getting past his defender with a turn-table.

However, Indian Bank inexplicably froze in the final stages of the encounter. The visitor threw away possession too often, which gave Vijaya Bank plenty of breathing space. The fate of the championship was sealed when Aravind converted two free throws in the dying seconds.

Vijaya Bank MD and CEO Kishore Sansi gave away the prizes.

The result (final):

Vijaya Bank 86 (Aravind Arumugam 38, Anil Kumar 14, Ruby Thomas 14) bt Indian Bank 82 (R. Hariram 34, A. Surya 20, M. Puvaneshwaran 13, D. Sandeep 13)

Final standings (prize money in brackets):

1. Vijaya Bank (Rs. 1,00,000), 2. Indian Bank (Rs. 75,000), 3. SDAT-Chennai (Rs. 50,000), 4. Kochi Customs (Rs. 30,000)

Individual awards

Player of tournament: Aravind Arumugam (Vijaya Bank, Rs. 5,000),

Best young player: Guruprasad (Karnataka President's XI, Rs. 3,000),

Player of the final: R. Hariram (Indian Bank, Rs. 2,000).

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