Press Release: With the scoreboard oscillating crazily between the two teams in the last two minutes, the pressure got to Shooting For Success, USA, whose players fumbled when it mattered most, enabling Western Railway pull off a deserving 84-81 win in the men’s final of the 27th Ramu Memorial Basketball Tournament, organized by the Indian Gymkhana at the court on Sunday.
Earlier, Southern Railway outplayed South East Central Railway 64-47 to lift the women’s title. Geethu Anna Jose and S Kokila shared the honours with 19 points each for the winners, while Renjini Peter scored 15. For the losers it was Bharti Netam with 24 and Anju Lakra, 16 who did the bulk of the scoring.
Western Railway won Rs 1 lakh, while SFS, USA will take home Rs 50,000. Southern Railway won Rs 50,000 for their efforts, while South East Central Railway had to be content with Rs 25,000.
After Western Railway ran away with the early lead of 22-17 in the first quarter, SFS settled down to a good rhythm with the fit again Charles Moore making his presence felt with his sharp shooting, which fetched him three three-pointer and a tally of 24 points. SFS went into half time with a 42-33 led which they extended to 62-58 at the end of the third quarter.
The inclusion of Jasjyot Singh in the last quarter made the difference in Western Railway’s fortunes as he scored four three-pointers and had a percentage of six from eight for field goals to help them keep abreast of SFS. Western Railway were trailing 79-81 with less than two minutes left when Yadwinder brought them level with a drive-in. They then put immense pressure on the SFS forwards under their basket to steal the ball and set up Dilawar Singh to score or a 83-81 lead with less than a minute to go. Gagandeep, with his percentage shooting from under the basket, was the high scorer for the winners with 30 points.
An uncharacteristic fumble by the experienced David Jones put paid to SFS’s chances and after Yadwinder had scored one from two free throws for the score to read 84-81, Jones then muffed an attempt for a three-pointer and time ran out for the teams from USA.
Best Player Awards: Limar Wilson (SFS) and S Kokila (Southern Railway).