Central Railway beat Savio Club to emerge NBA champions

Last year’s runners-up Central Railway won the men’s championship,while defending champions Agradneya Vyayam Shala,Dombivili and hosts NBA retained the junior girls’ and boys’ titles,respectively,in the 9th Nagpada Basketball Association Invitational Tournament,at the Bachookhan Municipal Playground,Nagpada on Tuesday.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published:January 4, 2012 4:52 am

Last year’s runners-up Central Railway won the men’s championship,while defending champions Agradneya Vyayam Shala,Dombivili and hosts NBA retained the junior girls’ and boys’ titles,respectively,in the 9th Nagpada Basketball Association Invitational Tournament,at the Bachookhan Municipal Playground,Nagpada on Tuesday.

Central Railway overcame giant-killers and surprise finalists Savio Club,Matunga 60-53 in an exciting men’s final,while,in contrast,AVS beat Bandra YMCA 52-26 in the girls final and NBA prevailed over Savio Club 62-29 in the boys’ title clash. Favourites Central Railway warmed up and dominated the first session to lead 25-17 at half time. But the superior railwaymen were in for a surprise when the never-say-die Savio Club initiated a spectacular comeback in the third quarter to trail by a solitary point at 39-40. The gritty Savio squad kept pace,never allowing the lead to grow until they finally went ahead at 50-49 early in the fourth and final quarter with a Jimit Shah three-pointer that threatened to change the script. Stunned by the reverse Central Railway were under pressure,keeping in mind Savio’s shock win over defending champions Deccan Gymkhana,Pune in the semi-finals. But with two-and-a-half minutes remaining,Amit put Central ahead 52-50 with a three-pointer to set the stage for a cliffhanger. The experience of Central came to the fore as they enhanced the lead to 56-50 through the gigantic Sikanderjit Singh and Abhishek,39 seconds from the end. A surprise three-pointer by Savio’s Saurabh Nisar 25 seconds from time kept their hopes alive,until Abhishek added a few more to snatch a hard-earned victory for Central Railway. After enduring a tight first quarter,in which they led 14-10,favourites AVS surged ahead in the second quarter as surprise finalists Bandra YMCA’s challenge surprisingly faded by the end of the first half in the junior girls final. AVS sat pretty with a 27-12 lead at half time to take control,and following a passive third quarter,stepped up the pace in the fourth and final quarter to canter to a comfortable 52-26 victory. AVS captain Amruta Bhuskute was rewarded for an all-round performance and top-scored with 23 points,while Riddhima Kemkar,the other stalwart in the side,added 19 points. Bandra YMCA captain Pooja Ajmera contributed the most for her side with seven points.

Results (All finals):

Junior Girls: AVS 52 (Amruta Bhuskute 23,Riddhima Kemkar 19) bt Bandra YMCA 26 (Pooja Ajmera 7). HT: 27-12.

Junior Boys: NBA 62 (Mohsin Shaikh 26,Fardeen Khan 12) bt Savio Club 29 (Luv Lahankar 8,Kush Lahankar 6). HT: 41-18.

Men: Central Rly 60 (Amit 17,Jai Singh 15,Sikanderjit Singh 8) bt Savio Club 53 (Saurabh Nisar 15,Jimit Shah 11,Kush Lahankar 11,Zaheer Gani 8). HT: 25-17.

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