Punjab looks for hat-trick of titles at Senior Nationals

Senior National basketball championships begin at the Nehru Indoor Stadium on Sunday where the new format requires the performances of the first round to be carried over to the second round.

REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE: Senior National basketball championships begin at the Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai on Sunday where the new format requires the performances of the first round to be carried over to the second round.   -  GETTY IMAGES

The Punjab men's team has always been a strong unit with well-built power forwards paving the way for the side's success.

For a team with such a wealth of talent, the 11-time champion's results have not been remarkable. In the last decade, it has won only thrice.

Nevertheless, when the Senior National basketball championships begin at the Nehru Indoor Stadium on Sunday with a new format, Punjab will be eager to bag a hat-trick of crowns.

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With three current Internationals in Amjyot Singh, Amritpal Singh and Princepal Singh and other equally good players, Punjab, definitely, has the wherewithal to clinch the title.  

Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Services and Indian Railways aren't going to be pushovers, and will want to prove their mettle. In the women's section, in all probability, it will be a battle between Railways and Kerala in the final.

The new format requires the performances of the first round to be carried over to the second round. "The league performance matters. We have to beat opponents with a higher-margin as it will be an advantage going into the second round," remarked Tamil Nadu's captain Muin Benk, at a press conference on Saturday.

"We are very confident of organising a successful Nationals," said Aadhav Arjuna, President of Tamil Nadu Basketball Association.

Groupings:

Men: Group A: Punjab, Gujarat, Kerala, Telangana; B: UP, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Services; C: TN, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Mizoram; D: MP, Haryana, West Bengal, Indian Railways.

Women: Group A: Railways, Delhi, Maharashtra, TN; B: UP, Kerala, MP; C: Telangana, Odisha, Haryana, Assam; D: Rajasthan, Punjab, West Bengal, Karnataka.

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