Heartbreak for Punjab men, Railways claim women’s title

It was heartbreak for hosts Punjab as they lost 61-79 to Uttrakhand in the men's final in the 63 rd Senior National Basketball Championship which concluded at Guru Nanak Stadium, Ludhiana on Friday. In the women's final, defending champion Indian Railways won the title with a 102-82 win over Tamil Nadu.

In the men's final, defending champions Punjab failed to cope up with the pressure of the final and looked out of sorts. For Uttrakhand, Yadvinder Singh was the star of the day as he netted 33 points to set up the visitors' win in the final. The visitors were leading by 23-16 at the of the first quarter before leading the second quarter 45-34. The third quarter saw Uttrakhand scoring 13 points while Punjab scored seven points. Even though Punjab scored 20 points as compared to Uttrakhand's 21 points in the fourth and last quarter, it was not enough to reduce the deficit. Singh was ably supported by Krishnan Murli and Vishesh Briguwanshi who scored 15 points each to set up the Uttrakhand win in the final. For the hosts Punjab, Satnam Singh waged a lone battle as he scored 19 points while Ranbir Singh and Talwinderjit Singh scored 13 points each.

Spearheaded by prolific scorer Geethu Anna Jose, Indian Railways retained the women's trophy by defeating Tamil Nadu with an impressive margin of 102-82 in the final.

Sinking baskets at regular intervals, the Railways leading scorer Geethu Anna Jose slammed half century with the help of field goals, conversion of rebounds and free throws. Geethu contributed a major share by posting 50 points. The Indian Railways attack revolved around Geethu who was given a good support by Anitha Kumari (13) and Anju Lakra (14). Pushpa (7), Kokaba Kumari (6) and Anusha Kumari (6) were the other scorers for Indian Railways. Raja Priya Dharshini (23), Appoorva Muralinath (19), Adhirai Kumari (13) and Soniya Joy (13) put up good show for Tamil Nadu. Railways started asserting themselves from the beginning and were 18-13 ahead after five minutes of play. Railways were leading the first quarter at 24-21. After leading the second and third quarters by 28-20, 27-17, Railways scored 23 points as compared to the rival team's 24 points but that was enough for the win. Chattisgarh women's finished third after getting the better of Delhi by 71-66 in extra time.

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