Tamil Nadu outplayed defending champions Punjab 87-69 in the final to win the men’s title in the 71st Senior National Basketball Championship on Sunday. While Tamil Nadu clinched the men’s title, the formidable Indian Railways team won the women’s title, beating Telangana 131-82 in convincing fashion on Poonam Chaaturvedi’s 26 points.
In the men’s summit clash, Tamil Nadu pulled the game in their favour after a slow start when Punjab kept pace and never looked back. At half-time, the host had widened the lead to 17 with a 50-33 scoreline. A Aravind with 26 points, M Arvind Kumar (21) and P Jeevanantham (14) were the standout performers for the home team as they stamped their authority against their arch-rivals in a highly-anticipated clash. While Amjyot Singh (33) and Amritpal Singh (12) made valuable contributions to the side.
In the women’s clash, Poonam Chaturvedi (26), Dharshini T (19), Pushpa (19), and Madhu Kumari (16) pulled off a stunning victory for Indian Railways against Telangana, for which Anbarasi (20), Priyanka P (20), Aswathy S Thampi (18) tried hard. Earlier, Punjab eliminated Karnataka 88-75, while Tamil Nadu got the better of the formidable Indian Railways 93-70, with H Muin Bek leading the way with 26 points.
In the semi-final clash, Tamil Nadu was in control from the start and led right through the match against Railways. Meanwhile, Punjab clinched a comprehensive game against Karnataka and kept scoring regularly to book a spot in the summit clash. The women’s semi-final saw a dominant Railways register a 115-88 win over Tamil Nadu while Telangana edged out Kerala 81-78 in a close encounter.
Men’s final: Tamil Nadu 87 (A Aravind 26, M Arvind Kumar 21, P Jeevanantham 14, Muin Bek 12) beat Punjab 69 (Amjyot Singh 33, Amritpal Singh 12).
3rd-4th place: Karnataka 96 (Abhishek Gowda 29, Shashank J Rai 28, Anil Kumar 25) beat Indian Railways 79 (Sahil 15, Kamran Khan 15).
Women’s final: Indian Railways 131 (Poonam Chaturvedi 26, Dharshini T 19, Pushpa 19, Madhu Kumari 16) beat Telangana 82 (Anbarasi 20, Priyanka P 20, Aswathy S Thampi 18).
3rd-4th place: Tamil Nadu 82 (Parthipa Priya 19, S Rajeshwari 16) beat Kerala 70 (Aneesha Cleetus 23, Stephy Nixon 14).