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Hosts Vijaya Bank claim maiden crown
Bengaluru, 23rd October 2016: The Vijaya Bank organised 3rd Mulki Sunder Ram Shetty All India Basketball Tournament for Men 2016 concluded earlier today at the Kanteerava Indoor Stadium in the city. The tournament is being conducted under the aegis of the Basketball Federation of India and the Karnataka State Basketball Association.
Hosts Vijaya Bank won their maiden crown, beating Indian Bank 86-82 in the finals. This bettered their third place finishes at the previous two editions of the tournament.
1) Vijaya Bank, Bengaluru
2) Indian Bank, Chennai
3) Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT), Chennai
4) Customs & Central Excise, Kochi
Prize Distribution Ceremony
Vijaya Bank’s MD and CEO Mr Kishore Kumar Sansi was the chief guest for the finale and he distributed the team and individual trophies and cash prizes.
The top four teams all received trophies. Additionally, the winning team Vijaya Bank received a cash prize of Rs 1,00,000/-. The runners up, Indian Bank received a cash prize of Rs 75,000/-. The second runners up Sports Development Authority Tamil Nadu (SDAT), Chennai received a cash prize of Rs 50,000/-, while 4th place Customs and Central Excise, Kochi were awarded Rs 30,000/-.
Vijaya Bank’s international centre Arvind Arumugam was presented with the most valuable player (MVP) of the tournament award, which included a trophy and a cash prize of Rs 5000/-.
Junior India point guard Guruprasad Nayak from President’s 11, Karnataka was named the most promising young player of the tournament and was given a trophy and cash prize of Rs 3000/-.
From the semifinal stage onward, individual player of the match trophies and cash awards of Rs 1000/- were conferred after each game. The finals’ most valuable player Hariram Ragupathy of Indian Bank received a cash prize of Rs 2000/-.
Finals: Vijaya Bank bt Indian Bank 86-82
Belying expectations the young Indian Bank had beaten the favoured Customs and Central Excise, Kochi 78-75 in the semifinals, to go through to the summit clash. In the finale, Indian Bank was again looking to prove experts wrong. Indian Bank had already lost to Vijaya Bank earlier in the group stages, 99-82, having been unable to contain the size of Vijaya Bank’s international centre Arvind Arumugam. On their part, Vijaya Bank had sailed through to the finals with an unbeaten record.
The first quarter began with Indian Bank starting hot, knocking down open jumpers and taking a 17-12 lead. For Vijaya Bank, the usually quiet forward Naveen Raj got some easy looks in the paint thanks to the extra attention being given to Arumugam. Indian Bank repeated their successful strategy from the semifinals, of starting with Arun at point guard and using junior India captain P Baladhaneshwar as a spark off the bench. Indian Bank led 19-18 at the end of Q1.
In the second quarter, both teams continued with their preferred approach of playing man to man defense. For Indian Bank forward A Surya, their semifinals most valuable player, aggressively looked for his shot. Soon Baladhaneshwar checked into the game while Indian Bank’s solitary, IB's solitary big man M Puvaneshwaran tirelessly went to work on both ends of the floor, which led to a couple of quick foul calls against Arumugam who was guarding him. Vijaya Bank turned sloppy in terms of protecting the glass, giving up too many offensive rebounds which allowed Indian Bank multiple second chance points to lead 33-26 with 6 mins left for halftime. A three by Sandeep put Indian Bank up by 10. But inevitably, Vijaya Bank fought back with 7 straight points to come within two 43-45 of Indian Bank at halftime. In a sign of things to come, Vijaya Bank point guard Rajesh Uppar even drained a shot beyond the half court line that was discounted because it was released after the second quarter buzzer. Nonetheless, the circus shot brought roars of appreciation and and smiles aplenty among the 500 odd spectators and senior Vijaya Bank dignitaries in attendance.
In the third quarter, the tides had turned with Vijaya Bank giving Indian Bank a taste of their own medicine. Led by forward Roby Thomas and Nagaraj crashing the boards, Vijaya Bank plugged the rebounding leaks it had struggled with in the first two quarters, which in turn contributed to a number of easy transition buckets on the other end. At the end of the third quarter, Vijaya Bank led 66-59.
The final 10 minutes began with back to back layups by Indian Bank’s senior India team debutant Hariram Ragupathy. With a little over five minutes, Indian Bank had brought the score within two points, 70-72 and the pressure began to show on Vijaya Bank. A costly turnover by Uppar, who wildly threw the ball out of bounds, followed by an incredible double clutch layup in the paint by Hariram meant we had a tie game.
The Hariram show continued with another layup taking Indian Bank up 76-75 with around three minutes remaining. Searching for answers, Vijaya Bank turned to shooting guard Anil Kumar who made a sweet backdoor cut for a reverse layup. Now it was Indian Bank’s turn to tense up as had back to back turnovers. With 1:20 minutes left, it was a 3 pt game, with Vijaya Bank leading 81-78 with 1:20 left. Backup forward Nagaraj got two huge rebounds on either ends of the floor, which was followed by two clutch freethrows by Arumugam. Small forward S Karthickeyan next got the layup to fall giving Vijaya Bank a virtually unassailable 5 pt lead, 85-80 with around 15 secs left.
However, Indian Bank refused to accept defeat and coming out of time out got a quick layup from Hariram with only 3 seconds left. Showing excellent late game tactics, Indian Bank then fouled Karthickeyan who knocked down one of his two freethrows to seal the win.
Despite all their efforts to contain him, Vijaya Bank’s Arumugam had top scored easily yet again with 38 points, many of them coming off putbacks from his own misses. For Indian Bank, Hariram was near faultless with his 34 points, many of which came in the fourth quarter.
Indian Bank should be credited for showing experience belying their youthful age but ultimately there was no denying Vijaya Bank an emotional maiden triumph at their home tournament. Having finished second runners up in the previous two editions, as they rightly say, third time's the charm.
Vijaya Bank (Arvind Arumugam 38, Anil Kumar 14, Roby Thomas 14) bt Indian Bank, Chennai (Hariram Ragupathy 34, A Surya 20, M Puvaneshwaran 13, D Sandeep 13) 86-82 [18-19, 25-26, 23-14, 20-23]
3rd-4th Place: SDAT, Chennai bt Customs and Central Excise, Kochi 66-53
Earlier in the evening, SDAT, Chennai beat a short staffed Customs, Kochi side fairly easily 66-53. Customs was again missing the services of former India international Eudrick Pereira and in his absence, SDAT, Chennai proved too much to handle, despite the game being close till the end of the third quarter. After leading 47-44 going into the fourth quarter, SDAT went on a 19-9 run to close out the game and seal their third place finish.
SDAT, Chennai’s athletic young forward Justin was named player of the match and was handed over a trophy and cash prize by Vijaya Bank General Manager Mr Sidheshwar Patra.
Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT), Chennai (Justin 28, Karthick 13) bt Customs and Central Excise, Kochi (Basil Philip 18, Monish 11) 66-53 [23-14, 19-18, 5-12, 19-9]
About the Tournament
Venue: Kanteerava Indoor Stadium in Bengaluru
Dates: 19th to 23rd October 2016
The tournament is held in the memory of the Late Shri Mulki Sunder Ram Shetty, a longstanding former Chairman of Vijaya Bank, who was instrumental in the growth of the bank through the 60s and 70s.
Matches were played every evening on a league cum knockout basis. There were 7 teams in the fray in this tournament, divided into two Groups. The top two teams from each Group progressed to the semifinals followed by the finals.
This edition of the tournament featured some of the nation’s top men’s club sides such as hosts Vijaya Bank, Central Excise & Customs-Kochi, Indian Bank, Integral Coach Factory (ICF)-Chennai, Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT)-Chennai and Karnataka State team (‘President’s 11’).
The following were the 13 international players who participated: Indian Bank (Hariram- Senior India; Moses Jeevananth- Junior India; P Baladhaneshwar- Junior India), Vijaya Bank (Arvind Arumugam, Rajesh Uppar, Sanjay Raj- Senior India; S Karthickeyan- Junior India), Kerala State Electricity Board (Sreerag N Nair- Junior India, Arun Harikumar- Youth India), Cochin Customs (Eudrick Pereira, Basil Philip, Monish Wilson- Senior India), President’s 11, Karnataka (Guruprasad Nayak- Junior India).
Past Edition Details
The inaugural edition of the tournament was held in 2014 in Malleshwaram, with Indian Overseas Bank (IOB)-Chennai, ONGC, Vijaya Bank and Karnataka State finishing as the top four teams respectively.
The 2nd edition was held in 2015 at the Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, Bengaluru. Income Tax-Chennai emerged winners, with ONGC, Vijaya Bank and Kerala State Electricity Board rounding off the top four.
Vijaya Bank- A proud heritage in basketball
Notably, Vijaya Bank is the only recruiter of basketball talent in the state of Karnataka, and has contributed 10 international players to the country, starting with Olympian Gurumurthy Dileep, who joined the bank way back in 1984. Other international players honed by the bank are former India captain BS Gautham (1986), A Rajkumar (1988), S Stalin (1993), G Murali Mohan (1995), Roshan Thankachan (1999), Sanjay Raj (2002), Arvind Arumugam and Rajesh Uppar (both in 2012). Including these international stars, in all, the bank has recruited 25 national level players, who have represented their bank and the state of Karnataka with great pride and gusto.