August 23, 2013

ONGC & Southern Railway won Golden Eagle Blue Star All India Tournament in Chennai

Blessed with some of the most dominant India international player’s on their roster, Dehradun’s ONGC side blazed through the Golden Eagle Blue Star All India Invitational Basketball Tournament in Chennai, defeating Customs and Central Excise (Kochi) in the tournament's Men's final on Thursday, August 22nd. The Women's final was also held earlier on the same day, and home side Southern Railway added another feather to their successful cap by sweeping past Secunderabad's South Central Railway.

Eight Men's teams and six Women's squads, divided into two groups each, took part in the six-day tournament, which was held at the JJ Stadium in Chennai.

India's national squad Center Amrit Pal Singh continued his development as a superstar anchor in the middle, scoring 29 points in dominating performance in the final to lead ONGC to a 76-63 win. India's captain Vishesh Bhriguvanshi added 16 points for the winning team. ONGC were able to withstand Customs and Central Excise's duo of Monish Wilson (21) and Eudrick Pereira (17) in their victory.

Southern Railway - who have been the glowing spark in India women's basketball led by the usual suspects Geethu Anna Jose and Anitha Paul Durai in recent years - had little trouble in cruising past South Central Railway 62-43 as they brought some cheers from the home crowd in their victory. Anitha had a game-high 23 points in the Women's final.

The Men's winners (ONGC) took home a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh, while second place (Customs and Central Excise) were rewarded Rs. 60,000. Women's winners (Southern Railway) also won Rs. 75,000 and runners-up (South Central Railway) Rs. 40,000.

The group stage of the tournament was played in a league format, with the top two teams from each group qualifying for the knockout stages. The semi-finals were held on Wednesday. Amrit Pal Singh (22) and Bhriguvanshi (18) led ONGC to a 64-50 win over home side IOB. In a high-scoring second men's semi-final, Customs and Central Excise defeating Indian Army (Delhi) 89-80. Eudrick Perira (20), Monish Wilson (19) and Basil Phillip (18) led the winning side.

In the Women's section, Southern Railway entered the final by defeating Western Railway 65-49. Manda Meshram (20) and Jilna Jose (18) led South Central Railway to a 83-65 win over Eastern Railway (Kolkata). Madhu Kumari had a valiant performance with 30 points for Eastern Railway in a losing effort.

The finals were broadcast live on DD Sports in India. Another special shoutout here to Gopalakrishnan R., who did an incredible job in covering this tournament on SportsKeeda every day.

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