The 68th Senior national basketball championship for men and women was inaugurated at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The Championship is being organised by the Tamil Nadu Basketball Association under the aegis of the Basketball Federation of India.
This time competition is high as several international players will be seen in action.
The host team, Tamil Nadu, seems to be fired up as started off with a win. In the last championship, Tamil Nadu team finished in the fifth position in the women’s category and was runner-up in men’s category.
Tamil Nadu men’s and women’s teams have won their opening matches in quite an impressive way. TN men’s team thrashed Haryana 113-58 in Group B of Level 1. The women’s team also beat Madhya Pradesh 68-48 in a convincing manner in Group A match in Level 1.
Both men and women teams of Tamil Nadu proved their mettle in this championship.
Defending champions Uttarakhand (men’s) started proceedings with an easy win over Odisha 85-62 in Group A fixture.
Punjab beat Gujarat 76-65 in Group B fixture. NBA player Satnam Singh scored 17 points for Punjab.
The Championship features the best basketball talent from various States and Union territories and will be played in a league cum knockout format. This Championship is one of the biggest and most important basketball events in the country every year since it plays a major role in the selection process for the Senior Indian Men’s and Women’s teams based on the player performances.
More than 25 teams are participating and they are divided into the categories of Upper Level 1 and Lower level 2. Level 1 features the top 10 teams from the previous championship divided into two groups of five teams each. Level 2 features the remaining teams. The two winning teams after these qualifying matches immediately qualify to the Upper Level in the next edition, replacing the two bottom (i.e. 5th placed) teams from the Upper Level 1 Groups. These two Level 2 to Level 1 qualifying teams also play another match which in turn allows the winning team to pick their pre-quarterfinal opponent.
Men: Level 1:: Group A:
Uttarakhand 85 (Mohit Bhandari 20, Murali Krishna 17) beat Odisha 62 (Suman Sahoo 19) Karnataka 82 (Arvind 22, Anil Kumar 16) beat Rajasthan 65 (Vinod Kumar 20, Sharad 19)
Punjab 76 (Gurvinder Singh Gill 22, Satnam Singh 17, Rajveer Singh 14) beat Gujarat 65 (Harpal 17, M Kasirajan 15)
Tamil Nadu 113 (Justin 22) beat Haryana 58 (Ankit 18).
Level 2: Group C:
Chhattisgarh 49 (Pratham Singh 15) beat Goa 32 (Flobert 14).
Maharashtra 65 (Rohit Kumar 13) beat Bihar 41 (Amit Gahlot 19);UP 88 (Sagar Joshi 28) beat West Bengal 76 (M Vivek 29, Vishal Kumar 29).
Andhra Pradesh 76 (T Tammu Sandeep 20, Murali Krishna 17) beat J&K 75 (Ranbir Singh 18, Iqbal 19); Telangana 54 (Sri Ganesh Patil 15) beat Puducherry 22.
Women: Level 1:: Group A:
Karnataka 82 (Bhandavya 31) beat Chhattisgarh 47 (Seema 17);Tamil Nadu 68 beat Madhya Pradesh 48.
Rajasthan 89 (A S Thampi 27, P Divya 18)) beat Telangana 61 (Nisha Sharma 31); Railways 89 (S Menon 15, Navaneetha 16) beat Delhi 39 (Pratima Singh 16).