January 16, 2012
ONGC Men & Southern Railway Women cruise to easy final wins at the 7th Savio Cup
It is famous for being one of the most competitive and exciting basketball tournaments in the country, and judging by the quality of the Men's games thus far, it seemed that the final encounter at the 7th Savio Cup All India Basketball Tournament at Don Bosco, Matunga, Mumbai, was going to be an epic encounter between two sides in peak form. But the night belonged to the stacked ONGC outfit, who showed no mercy versus National Champions Punjab and clinically finished off their opponents for a 61-42 victory on Sunday.
In the Women's final, last year's winners Southern Railway showed no mercy on Chhattisgarh's South East Central Railway (SECR) - presumably their toughest competition in the tournament - as they headed for a comfortable 86-49 win.
The triumph for ONGC and Southern Railway came only about a week after both had won the Men's and Women's competition at Athirampuzha JCI Tournament in Kerala.
The 7th edition of the Savio Cup was held from January 8-15, 2012. The Men's final featured ONGC and Punjab, two teams with the most number of recognisable faces of Indian Men's Basketball today. With the addition of Vishesh Bhriguvanshi and Yadwinder Singh from Railways - two players who were barred from taking part in the Senior Nationals last month - ONGC strengthened their squad that already featured Trideep Rai, Riyazuddin, Anoop, and other stars. Vishesh and Yadwinder had been an integral part of the Railways side which had lifted the Savio Cup a year ago: the two stars celebrated Savio Cup victory once again but in different colours.
ONGC carried out their game-plan and played efficient offense in the Final against a strong Punjab side, which featured India's current internationals like TJ Sahi, Jagdeep Singh Bains, Amjyot Singh, and Amrit Pal Singh. Punjab had a bad shooting night, and ONGC took advantage to dominate the game and win 61-42.
In the Women's final, it was a similar story as Southern Railway - led by Geethu Anna Jose and Anitha Paul Durai - lifted yet another trophy. This was the third trophy for the duo and other Railway players who had won the National Championship in Tamil Nadu, the Athirampuzha championship in Kerala, and now, the Savio Cup in Maharashtra.
The Men's division featured several tough teams this year, including the competitive IOB side, who lost to Punjab in the 'Semi Final League' stage. American side 'Shooting For Success' once again brought star-studded players and highlight plays to the Matunga courts, but were a disappointment this year as they failed to repeat their Finals performance from 2011 and lost several of their games.
A Slam Dunk competition was also held at the tournament, where American player Terry Fields of 'Shooting For Success' defeated Punjab's TJ Sahi for the title.