A brief tour of the recently concluded national level basketball tournament
Dunks, 3-pointers, alley-oops, swishes, passes from one end of the court to the other, last-second baskets, tie-breakers, a zillion fouls and the free throws that followed after – all of these were seen in the recently concluded 54th All India Basketball Tournament for Men hosted by the PSG Sports club.
The tournament started off with the first match on 9th September 2018 between Vijaya bank, Bangalore and ICF, Chennai with Vijaya Bank showing their prowess by winning it 91 – 51. Income Tax, Chennai won in a nail biting finish against Indian Air Force, Delhi scoring 67 as opposed to their 61 points. Indian Railways, Delhi won against Customs, Kerala with a 64 – 59 point lead. Indian Army, Delhi, who were the crowd favourites, suffered a heartbreaking loss against Indian Bank, Chennai who won 65 – 54.
Day 2 started off in an eventful manner with Indian Army crushing ICF in a 88 – 44 victory. The tiny tots present gaped in awe at the superhumanly tall players, with some even managing to get photos and selfies with a couple of them. In the second match, IAF ( Indian Air Force ) lost to Indian Railways, who also had the crowd’s backing, with the scores being 60 – 73. Customs won against Income Tax with a 73 – 66 lead. The final match of the day was won by Vijaya Bank with a last minute lead of 77 – 71 against Indian bank.
Day 3 was the last day of the league matches;the top two teams of both groups entered the knockouts to compete for the final trophy. Indian Bank scored a 78 – 55 win over ICF in the Group A league. With the total number of their wins being 2, they had sealed their place in the knockouts! IAF played spoilsport against the Customs by not letting them into the playoffs, by winning it with a 89 – 72 lead. Vijaya Bank won against Indian army with a 61 – 52 on the points table, and made their way to the playoffs. Many school children went home disappointed as their favourite team was knocked out of the tournament. Income Tax won against Indian Railways taking both the teams to the knockouts with their score being 70 – 65!
The first knock out match was held between Income Tax and Indian Bank and proved to be a match worthy of being the finals as both the teams were equally matched. Indian Bank missed out on reaching the finals by just two points. Income tax proved to be slightly better by winning it with 66 – 64 points. Vijaya Bank proved that they were very strong contenders for the title by winning with a massive 92 – 64 lead against Indian Railways.
Indian Bank beat Indian Railways to the third position with 82 – 70 being their respective scores. Muin Bek(20), A Surya(20) were the top scorers for Indian Bank and Loveneeth(27) was the top scorer for the railways.
The finals proved to be very memorable, as the favourites, Income Tax, edged out an equally strong Vijaya Bank, 82 – 78, in a match that went into overtime. With both the teams playing equally well, the final quarter was exciting and kept everyone in the edge of their seats and eventually ended in a tie 71 – 71. In the extra time, Jeeva Nadham(36) converted many baskets taking his team to a glorious win and also ended up being the ‘Player of the tournament’ and walked away with a cash prize of 10,000 Rs . The winning team received 1,00,000Rs and the runners took home 50,000Rs. The top scorers were Jeeva Nandham(36) and Ram Kumar(17) for Income tax and A. Aravind(23), B.K. Anil Kumar(20) were the main scorers for Vijaya Bank.