January 20, 2014

ONGC (Men) and Southern Railway (Women) win 9th Savio Cup in Mumbai

Although they started as favourites to hold on to their title, Southern Railway had to battle till the very end and use every bit of their talent and experience to outlast the spirited hosts Maharashtra in the Women's final of the 9th Savio Cup on Saturday, January 18th, at the Don Bosco High School in Mathunga, Mumbai. Familiar foes ONGC and IOB met in the Men's title game, with ONGC continuing their hot stretch in recent tournaments to add another trophy to their glittering cabinet.

Photo Courtesy: Ekalavyas.com
The 9th Savio Cup tipped off in Mumbai on January 11th, featuring participation by seven Men's and four Women's squads. The tournament was sponsored by Tridhaatu Realty and Indian Oil.

Southern Railway were playing without superstar Geethu Anna Jose and hadn't been their usual convincing selves, after already dropping a game to their final opponents Maharashtra earlier in the tournament. Maharashtra on the other hand have been enjoying a string of relative success in their Women's division. In the Final, Maharashtra - led by Manisha Dange - wanted to stamp in their authority and a dominant first half saw them go into the break with a 33-19 lead. Southern Railway fought back in the third period, and a back-to-back fourth quarter finally saw them take the lead in the game's last minutes. Southern Railway inched ahead to survive for a 67-62 victory behind 19 points by Apoorva Murlinath. Dange had 30 for Maharashtra in a losing effort.

ONGC (Uttarakhand) were back in the Final after losing to American side Sportspower USA in the previous edition of the tournament. With Chennai's IOB starting off on the right foot, it seemed like ONGC would face a final defeat once again. But they fought back to take a halftime lead, and then completely dominate proceedings in the game's second half en route to a 70-52 victory. Veterans Trideep Rai (22) and Yadwinder Singh (19) were the game's leading scorers.

Photo Courtesy: Ekalavyas.com
The Men's winning side were rewarded Rs. 1.5 lakhs and the runners-up were given Rs. 65,000. For Women, the winning side was given Rs. 50,000 and runners-up Rs. 25,000.

Sportspower returned this year without the former NBA players who helped them lift the title last year. Their roster was short this year, so two Indian players - Vinay Kaushik and Prakash Mishra - were added to the team. Ex-NBA player David Wood was supposed to be a part of the team but didn't make it. Jahaziel Howard - the younger brother of NBA star Dwight Howard - came to Mumbai as part of Sportspower's roster.


  1. I am guessing that best player of tournament would be Manisha Dange with her consistent performance..Womens have made this tournament come alive ..mens event is not worth discussing all dominated by ONGC. One sided finals ...to define the game of ONGC couple of rebounds and awkward conversions because of the height advantage...) what is missing ..Clean drive ins...graceful pivot shorts...consistent shooting from behind the line.....The game they play is so poor that everybody is like MBRs ...Yadwinder singh hardly passes the ball back..pity that this team has no competition ...the dont even have a good ball controller ...I know Panakj Deshmukhs Shivaji Nagar can give them a hard time

  2. Given the comments ..Tridhatu Reality and Organisers are keeping the game alive in Bombay ..Tehy shouldcontinue to do so and in the process try and produce players locally ..they should also invest in trainning local players ..a environment of comeption should be fostered in the local club..i remeber the earlier days that two teams from Mumbai would play the all Inida finals ...goes to show where is Mumbai today in terms of producing players