Hosts Vijaya Bank confidently started their campaign in Group B against Indian Customs, Pune, in the 5th Mulki Sunder Ram Shetty All India Basketball Tourney by beating Indian Customs 100-77 on Sunday at Malleswaram courts here.
Customs were headed by their powerful backcourt duo of Ajinkya Mane and former Indian Team guard Siddhant Shinde. Meanwhile, Vijaya Bank’s offense was facilitated by their former International Guard Rajesh Uppar alongside fellow internationals Arvind Arumugam and Anil Kumar.
Vijaya Bank had a dominant start to the game leading 10-0 in first two minutes with guard Anil Kumar scoring six very quick points off fastbreaks but Customs came storming back into the game with some great passing and cutting the lead to just one point. Point guard Rajesh Uppar orchestrated Vijaya Bank’s offense beautifully as they ended the quarter leading 28-21.
The 2nd quarter started with Shinde and Mane scoring back to back baskets, thanks to some good ball movement from the Customs team. But Vijaya Bank answered right back with some good offensive showing from Arvind Arumugam and regained a comfortable double digit lead midway in the 2nd quarter. Anil Kumar and Siddhant Shinde exchanged couple of threes between them but then a three by Mane followed by a fastbreak reverse layup cut the lead back to just 4 points.
Vijaya Bank displayed beautiful ball movement on the second last play of the quarter which led to an open three. But Ajinkya Mane answered back with a three of his own with only 5 seconds left on the game to trail Vijaya Bank 45-51-45 at the half.
3rd quarter started with Siddhant Shinde taking charge and getting his team back into the game but Anil Kumar stepped up for the host team draining 3 three pointers in this quarter itself and had some great defensive stops which he converted at the other end of the floor. Forward Clinton Andrew of Vijaya Bank entered the game with two blocks on back to back possessions and he shifted the momentum of the game completely in favour of the hosts with a monstrous block on Ajinkya Mane.
Forward Karthik Saminathan of Vijaya Bank started the 4th quarter in style with a huge fastbreak dunk. Later Anil Kumar went into his bag of tricks and pulled off a sweet between the legs move to get the crowd on its feet and followed it with a corner three to make it an 18 point game in favour of Vijaya Bank midway through the final quarter.
Hosts Vijaya Bank held on to their lead and finished the game at 100-77.
Vijaya Bank: 100 (Anil Kumar 27 pts, Harish M 21 pts) beat Indian Customs (Pune): 77 (Siddhant Shinde 41 pts, Edvin 14 pts) [28-21, 23-24, 30-27, 19-05].