Former NBA stars impress for Sportspower

They may me former NBA players, but the trio of Anthony Bonner, Jim Bartalotta and Paul Grant, representing Sportspower USA, still retain enough of their physical prowess and ample skills, the likes of which have not been witnessed in India before. Supported by the rest of the younger players that make up the team, Sportspower were more than a match for Maharashtra, winning 86-57 in the opening men's league match of the 8th Savio Cup All-India Basketball Tournament, sponsored by Tridhatu Realty India and United Phosphorous Ltd at the Don Bosco School, Matunga.

Grant, standing 7 feet tall, having represented Utah Jazz and Milwaukee Bucks, the 6 foot 8 inches tall Anthony Bonner, who turned out for NY Knicks and Orlando Magic and the 6 foot 4 inches tall Jim Bartalotta, who played for Sacramento Kings, all began the match and swamped the state teams with a barrage of baskets, jumping to a 31-11 lead in the first quarter, which extended to 49-19 at half time, by which time they had conceded the field to their lesser fancied teammates.

It was to the credit of Maharashtra that they gave as good as they got when the former NBA players were on the bench, matching the US side 25-25 in the third quarter and 12-13 in the last to finish with a respectable score of 57.

Terrance Thomas, who stands 6 foot 7 inches tall and plays for Baylor University, emerged top scorer for Sportspower with 24 points, while Bonner contributed 16 and Lutlier Glover 14. For Maharashtra, captain Siddhanth Shinde score 13 and Arafat Shaikh 11.

The agony continued for the State men early on Monday against defending champions ONGC, who thrashed them 98-69 after leading 58-38 at half time. For ONGC, Vishesh Braghuvanshi scored 21, while Amritpal Singh and Yadwinder contributed 18 and 16 respectively.

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