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Uttar Pradesh girls stun Chhattisgarh to make the final four of the 68th Junior National Championship
Chief Guest Mr Rahul Gautam, the MD of Sleepwell Foams with the Kerala and Haryana teams before the tip off of their Quarterfinals at the 68th Junior National Basketball Chammpionship. Image credits: Basketball Federation of India
Noida, 9th June 2017: Knockout stages commenced on Day 6 at the 68th Junior National Basketball Championship with the pre-quarterfinal matchups featuring the home teams. Uttar Pradesh girls, buoyed by home support, came out firing against Rajasthan. Led by star performer, Vaishnavi Yadav’s 33 points, UP had a strong first quarter, outscoring Rajasthan 22 to 12. Despite a rocky middle period, UP managed to get back on track in the fourth to pull away for a 86-66 win. They will now have their quarterfinal game today evening against Chhattisgarh.
The UP boys, however, fell to Haryana 84-60. Haryana got off to a slow start, but dominated the rest of the three quarters. Rinku poured in 40 points for Haryana, facilitating the blowout win. Haryana will now face the Kerala boys in the quarters later today evening. In other pre-quarterfinal games, MP girls won an overtime thriller against Gujarat (79-70), dominating the overtime period 11 to 2. MP have now set up a quarterfinal clash against the undefeated Tamil Nadu girls. The Delhi boys have also made it to the quarters, beating MP boys 82-73.
Later in the morning, the quarterfinal games began with the Kerala girls knocking out Maharashtra with a 86-71 win. Kerala’s Sreekala, who is an up-and-coming star, scorched Maharashtra for 42 points, single-handedly carrying her team’s offense. It was cruise control for Kerala after the first quarter, leading the rest of the way and cementing a spot in the semi-finals tomorrow.
TN centre Sheldin Rashan dominated on both ends of the floor in the QF win over Maharashtra at the 68th Junior National Basketball Championship. Image credits: Basketball Federation of India
Defending champions Tamil Nadu boys have also booked a semi-final berth, with a 83-66 win over Maharashtra. Sheldin’s 25 points for Tamil Nadu coupled with Arvind’s 16 points pushed Tamil Nadu past an undersized Maharashtra squad. The defending champs will be hoping to find their form in the final four stages after a tumultuous league stage in the tournament.
The girls’ defending champions Karnataka knocked out Punjab from the tournament in their quarterfinal clash. Despite the Karnataka bigs playing at 70%, their guards stepped up to provide the scoring punch. Both teams remained within single digits for the first three quarters. But Karnataka switch to a higher gear in the fourth, led by Rajvi Jain who put up 16 points. They outscored Punjab 16 to 6 in the final period to clinch a 61-49 win and a place in the semifinals tomorrow.
In what is probably the upset of the tournament, the upstart Uttar Pradesh girls team, who fought tooth and nail to reach the quarters, knocked out favourites Chhattisgarh. UP girls played a near perfect game of basketball, with efficient offense and minimal turnovers. Their transition defense helped to quell the Chhattisgarh fast break, which is their main source of offense. Vaishnavi Yadav once again had a huge game for UP with 43 points as UP dominated the first half scoring a massive 60 points! Yadav’s ball handling and shooting ability made her a tough matchup for the Chhattisgarh defenders. The UP girls made it to the semi-finals after a gap of three years with a 94-67 win.
S Chandni of Tamil Nadu during the final few seconds of the quarterfinal win over MP. Image credits: Basketball Federation of India
Tamil Nadu girls and Punjab boys had easy quarterfinal outings with comfortable wins over the Madhya Pradesh girls and Delhi boys respectively. TN led from start to finish with S. Pushpa scoring a game-high 23 points. The Punjab boys were dominant in their game exploiting their size advantage over Delhi to the fullest. Swapnil and Kanwar Gurbaz built a double-digit lead for Punjab in the first half and their bench held the fort the rest of the way for an 88-43 win.
Kerala and Haryana boys faced off in the final quarterfinal of the day. It was Haryana’s second match of the day, but there were no signs of fatigue as they matched Kerala punch for punch. Kerala’s Amal Reghu (28 points) was effective with his drives, while Muhammad Shiras (27 points) got his points in the paint. Haryana, led by Rinku’s 21 points, never let the lead get beyond 8 points in the first three quarters. In the fourth, Haryana began to cut down the lead even further, fighting to steal a win. A couple of late triples from Haryana’s Rinku threatened Kerala down the stretch, but Kerala kept their poise, working the clock on each possession. Amal Reghu’s clutch bucket in the final minute gave Kerala an slim 3-point lead, which they held on to to close on a 85-82 win.
Results from 9th June 2017
Kerala (Sreekala 42, Lithara KC 13, Aneesha 12) bt Maharashtra (Shruti Sherigar 20, SN Dandekar 14) 86-71 (14-13, 24-15, 25-14, 23-29)
Karnataka (Rajvi Jain 16, Sanjana 11, Aastha 9) bt Punjab (Sakshi 17, Pramjot 14) 61-49 (18-12, 16-16, 11-15, 16-6)
Uttar Pradesh (Vaishnavi Yadav 43, Shreyasi 21, Shivani 17) bt Chhattisgarh (Manisha 26, Gulabsha Ali 12) 94-67 (26-15, 34-17, 22-21, 12-14)
Tamil Nadu (S. Pushpa 23, J. Ishwarya 14) bt Madhya Pradesh (Isha 11) 70-38 (17-10, 22-13, 19-7, 12-8)
Madhya Pradesh (Vanshita 24, Namraya 23, Isha Chouhan 13) bt Gujarat (Tavleen 24, Jahnvi 15) 79-70 (21-15, 10-12, 25-19, 12-22, Overtime 11-2)
Uttar Pradesh (Vaishnavi Yadav 33, Reena 14, Shivani 11)bt Rajasthan (Ishika 23, Kanika 17, Yashika 14) 86-66 (22-12, 19-17, 21-23, 24-14)
Loser Knockout Final
Chandigarh (Nisha 28, Amrit 12) bt Odisha (Saraswati 16) 59-45 (20-13, 12-7, 13-10, 14-15)
Relegation match (Level 1 to Level 2)
Delhi (Meena 14, Aruni 11, Sushantika 8) bt Haryana (Tanisha 13, Komal 9) 58-41 (21-11, 15-6, 8-12, 14-12)
Tamil Nadu (Sheldin Roshan 25, Arvind KM 16, Manoj Kumar 11) bt Maharashtra (Faisal 17, Sameer 14, Danish 8) 83-66 (27-23, 19-16, 21-13, 16-14)
Rajasthan (Ashish 18, Rajeev 18, Abash 15) bt Chandigarh (Amit 37, Rahul 21, Yunus 14) 88-82 (19-19, 20-24, 32-24, 17-15)
Punjab (Gurwinder 18, Swapnil Sharma 14, Vinay KR 14, Kanwar Gurbaz 13)bt Delhi (Aarav 14, Aditya 12) 88-43 (22-10, 21-11, 19-14, 26-8)
Kerala (Amal Reghu 28, Muhammad Shiras 27, Sejin Mathew 10) bt Haryana (Rinku 21, Naveen 16, Abhimanyu 16) 85-82 (18-15, 17-16, 25-22, 25-29)
Delhi (Manik Hooda 29, Aditya 26, Nitish 16) bt Madhya Pradesh (Yogesh 21, Sudhanshu 16, Puneet 10) 82-73 (18-16, 26-25, 15-14, 23-18)
Haryana (Rinku 40, Naveen 18, Sachin 12) bt Uttar Pradesh (Prasun 24, Akshay 15) 84-60 (15-17, 21-12, 20-11, 28-20)
Loser Knockout Final
Gujarat (Harsh 22, Kuldeep 16, Karan 11) bt West Bengal (Saddam 18, Gopal 15, Binod 10) 74-61 (17-24, 15-19, 18-0, 24-18)
Relegation match (Level 1 to Level 2)
Telangana (Vipin 25, Pradeep Singh 14, K. Srinivasan 12) bt Chhattisgarh (Salim Ali 15, Anurag Dubey 11) 65-51 (22-14, 11-12, 17-15, 15-10)