June 17, 2019

Punjab Police (Men) and Eastern Railway (Women) lift 2019 Federation Cup trophies in Greater Noida


Sometimes, basketball can be completely uncomplicated, when the most basic of tenets of the game shine brighter than all the rest: size and talent. At the 33rd Federation Cup Basketball Championship for Men and Women held over the past week in Greater Noida, these were the tenets that made the difference, as the best squads separated themselves from the rest. At the tournaments finals on Sunday, June 16, the two biggest and deepest teams - Punjab Police (Men) and Eastern Railway (Women) - rose to the challenge and secured the prestigious gold medals.

Organised by the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) and the Uttar Pradesh Basketball Association (UPBA), the Federation Cup was held from June 12-16, 2019 at the Gautam Buddha University in Greater Noida, featuring 9 teams from top men's units and 8 of the women's top state teams from around India taking part.

On the final day, Eastern Railway Women were led by Libina MJ (28) and India's tallest women basketball player Poonam Chaturvedi (26) to an easy victory over Tamil Nadu, 86-67. Eastern Railway got off to a sensational 29-15 start and road the momentum towards their victory. TN's rising young star Dharshini Thirunavukkarasu had 19 for her side in the losing effort.

The Men's final saw the tournament's most impressive team - Punjab Police - complete their rout to secure this championship. Featuring two international professional players Amritpal Singh and late-addition Amjyot Singh, Punjab Police had been stellar all week, and capped off their run with a 91-71 win over the physical Indian Army squad. Arsh Preet Bhullar led the Punjabis with 24 points and Amjyot added 20. For Army, Sunil Rathee (18) and Gopal Ram (16) were the top scorers in the loss.

Earlier on Sunday, Gnanasekaran Sivabalan scored 34 for Income Tax (Chennai) to help them secure third place with a blowout win - 96-70 - over Chandigarh's Shri Guru Gobind Singh College. P. Jeevananthan added 17 for IT's win. Mithun Das (21) and P. Pandey (17) were Shri Guru Gobind Singh's leading scorers. In the women's bronze medal game, last year's champs Kerala survived a one-woman show by Maharashtra's Shruthi Aravind to win 91-70. Aravind's game-high 41 points were enough to lead the charge against a balanced Kerala squad, who were led by Anjanna PG (26), Poojamol Kochuparambu (16) and others.

Newly-minted Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju was present on Sunday to felicitate the medalists at the Cup. The top three teams received Rs. 1 lakh, Rs. 50,000, and Rs. 25,000 respectively.

Arsh Preet Bhullar (Punjab Police) and Libina MJ (Eastern Railway) were named Men and Women's MVP respectively at the tournament.

Final Scores
  • Women: Eastern Railway (Libina MJ 28, Poonam Chaturvedi 26, Sitamani Tudu 13) bt. Tamil Nadu (Dharshini Thirunavukkarasu 19, M Nishanthi 13) 86-67 [29-15,17-22,21-13,19-12].
  • Men: Punjab Police (Arsh Preet Bhullar 24, Amjyot Singh 20, Ranbir Singh 18) bt. Indian Army (Sunil Rathee 18, Gopal Ram 16) 91-71.
Final Standings

Women
  1. Eastern Railway
  2. Tamil Nadu
  3. Kerala
Men
  1. Punjab Police
  2. Indian Army
  3. Income Tax

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