January 5, 2011
Indian Railways complete a three-peat double of National Basketball Championship
Indian Railways stamped their mark over Indian Basketball as they completed three-years of double victory of both the Men’s and the Women’s squads at the 61st IMG-Reliance National Basketball Championship for Men and Women at the Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi on Tuesday, January 4, 2011.
For the ninth straight year, the Women’s final of the National Basketball Championship was held between budding rivals Indian Railways and Delhi. And for the eight straight year, Indian Railways upheld their dominance in the rivalry and over Women’s basketball in India by destroying Delhi 95-55. Indian Railways have won 23 of the last 25 National Championships, and once again, this was their year in the tournament.
It was more of the same in the Men’s Final, as Indian Railways muscled their way towards a gritty victory against their rivals, Services. This was the third straight National Basketball Championship title for the Railways Men.
After eight days of excitement, from December 28th – January 4th, at the Talkatora Stadium and the Modern School in Barakhamba, the finals of the championship were a showcase event. In the Women’s game, Delhi were no match for Railways’ devastating duo of Geethu Anna Jose (29 points) and Anju (23), as they were blown out by 40 points. Prashanti Singh and Raspreet Sidhu scored 18 and 16 points respectively for the hosts.
In the Men’s game, youngster Arjun Singh caught fire to lead Indian Railways a victory over Services, 74-62. Arjun had 27 points, whereas Jay Ram Jat scored 25 points in a losing effort for the Services side.
In the third place match-ups, Tamil Nadu Women edged out Chhattisgarh in a close encounter, 55-51, behind 18 points apiece by S Kokila and Apoorva Murali Nath. In the Men’s game, Punjab’s superstar Jagdeep Singh found his groove to score 33 points as Punjab beat Kerala 89-67. Amjyot Singh added 16 points for Punjab as they sealed third place. Basil Philip was the top man for Kerala in the match, adding 26 points.
Harish Sharma, the Secretary-General of the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) expressed his satisfaction towards a successful tournament. “Thanks to the help of our sponsors, IMG-Reliance, this was the biggest national championship to date. The play on the court didn’t disappoint and it’s obvious for us to see that basketball is growing at an acceleration pace in India. Once again, I would like to thank and congratulate all the participating teams, coaches, managers, support staff, and fans who have helped make this a memorable championship.”
“2010 was a big year for Indian basketball and I’m hoping that 2011 will be even better!” Sharma added.
BFI’s president RS Gill was the honorable guest to present the awards to the winning teams, along with Arjuna Award winner and Indian Basketball legend Mr. Khushi Ram. Both the winning teams received a cash prize of Rs. 1.5 lakhs each. Runners-up were rewarded Rs. 1 lakh each and third-place winners were rewarded Rs. 50,000 each.
Women’s Final: Indian Railways 95 (Geethu Anna Jose 29, Anju 23) bt. Delhi 55 (Prashanti Singh 18, Raspreet Sidhu 16).
Men’s Final: Indian Railways 74 (Arjun Singh 27, Gagan Deep Singh 13) bt. Services 62 (Jay Ram Jat 25, Dalip Kumar 14).
Women’s Third-Place Match: Tamil Nadu 55 (S Kokila 18, Apoorva Murali Nath 16) bt. Chhattisgarh 51.
Men’s Third-Place Match: Punjab 89 (Jagdeep Singh 33, Amjyot Singh 16) bt. Kerala 67 (Basil Philip 26, Jomon Jose 13).