An exciting tournament

The victorious IOB team, which won the men’s title.-

The annual Jeppiaar Trophy all-India basketball tournament is taking the contours of a true national level competition. This year the week-long competition featured some of the top names on the national scene.

Indian Overseas Bank enhanced its reputation as one of the best teams in the country by retaining the Jeppiaar Trophy — a beautifully carved out crystal vase. It prevailed over ONGC, another top outfit, in the final. IOB picked up a cash prize of Rs. 1,25,000, while the runner-up was richer by Rs. 75,000. Indian Army and Indian Navy finished third and fourth, respectively.

Pratam Singh and Vineeth Mathew impressed for IOB with their consistent performances. So did Trideep Rai and Murali Krishna. The host team, JIT, which had the institute director, Marie Wilson, as a player, won successive matches to come close to entering the semifinals. Shashant Rai was prominent for JIT and was adjudged the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.

Earlier, in the play-off for the third place, Indian Army beat Indian Navy 66-55. After a closely-fought first half (29-26) the Army team secured the win thanks to Sridhar (18 points) and Jairam Jat (14), who helped increase the score, in the later stage.

In the women’s section, Southern Railways sailed through with consummate ease, thanks to the presence of international star Geethu Anna Jose. The other Railway outfits, Western and Central, strove hard to uplift the intensity of combats, but Southern proved too good, projecting all-round ability. Much was expected of KSEB but the team faded away after promising much initially. Swaranjeet Kaur of Chhattisgarh was declared the Most Valuable Player among the women.

Results:

Men’s Final: IOB 59 (Vineeth Ravi Mathew 19, Harish Korat 16, Pratham Singh 15) beat ONGC 45 (Murali Krishna 11, Mohit Bhandari 10). Play-off (3rd Place): Indian Army 66 (Sridhar 18, Jairam Jat 14, Arokiya Babu 11) beat Indian Navy 55 (Venkatesh 16, Mandeep Singh 15, Settu 15).

Women’s Final: Southern Railway 62 (Geethu Anna Jose 24, Kokila 19) beat Western Railway 49 (Renu Maurya 13, Smruti 11). Play-off (3rd Place): Chhattisgarh 53 (Poonam Chaturvedi 12, Swaranjeet Kaur 26) beat KSEB 48 (Stephy Nixon 11, Shilji George 11, Jeena 10).

S. Thyagarajan