Last year’s winners Karnataka women opened with a close 65-64 win over Kerala in the 68th junior National basketball Championships organised by Uttar Pradesh Basketball Association in association at the at Shiv Nadar University in Gautam Budh Nagar here yesterday.
Karnataka led early before Kerala stormed back in the second quarter to trail 36-38 at halftime. The teams kept going back and forth right till the final buzzer before the experienced Karnataka side pulled through with a nail biting one point win. Sanjana Ramesh of Karnataka top scored with 20 points, while Kerala forward Sreekala fought hard with 25 points in the losing effort.
Later in the evening, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu teams too posted easy wins.
Maharashtra men outclass Delhi
In the Level 1 men’s matches, Maharashtra registered a surprisingly easy 81-64 victory over Delhi. The second quarter largely sealed the fate of the game, as Maharashtra outscored their opponents 24-6. Later in the day, Tamil Nadu men made short work of Chhattisgarh, their scintillating perimeter defense restricting Chhattisgarh to just 49 points in the game. Tamil Nadu’s P Baladhaneshwar, who has already played for senior national team, top scored with 22 points and showed excellent mobility on both ends of the floor.
Kerala men got off to a flyer beating Telangana 109-26. Joshua George top scored with 28 points, with Muhammed Shiras (21 points), Amal Reghu (19 points) and Sejin Mathew (11 points) chipping in with double digit scoring as well.
Hosts UP men start with impressive win
In lower Level 2 action, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal women too started off with confident victories. In men’s Level 2, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand won their respective matches.
Hosts Uttar Pradesh men had it easy against Jharkhand, winning their Level 2 Group D encounter 67-25.