Mumbai: Sportspower, USA survived some anxious moments against Indian Railways before prevailing by six points in an exciting men’s league match of the 8th Savio Cup All India Basketball Tournament, sponsored by Tridhatu Realty India and United Phosphorous Ltd at the Don Bosco School, Matunga on Wednesday. Whenever their former NBA players were on the bench, the side from US struggled to stop the Railways players from scoring and one time were trailing by eight points in the second quarter before they rallied to lead 54-47 at half time before finishing 92-86 winners.
In a women’s league match, defending champions Southern Railway bounced back after the loss in the opening game, defeating strong contenders Chattisgarh 79-47.
In the boys U-20 competition Savio Club entered the Super League stage after registering their second win, this time a 67-41 victory in over Mastan YMCA.
The display by Railways against Sportspower would have given the other strong teams in the men’s competition, especially defending champions ONGC, ideas of how to put it across the US side, who seemed to struggle every time their main players left the field.
Sportspower began in whirlwind fashion, jumping to a 31-19 lead, but could not do much to stop Railways in the second quarter. With Terrance Thomas, Paul Grant and Anthony Bonner taking a respite, the other players were overwhelmed by an attacking blitz from Railways in the 2nd quarter, which ended 28-23 in their favour. However, the experienced US players then rallied to keep their nose ahead, helped in no small measure by their height advantage in defence and in the offensive rebound.
Terrance Thomas and Paul Grant again emerged the top scorers for Sportspower with 27 and 26 points respectively, while Anthony Bonner contributed 14. For Railways, Prakash Mishra was undstoppable as he helped himself to 32 points, backed by Vikram Parmar who scored 14.
In the women’s match it was Geetu Anna Jose all the way as she scored 24 points to lead Southern Railway to a commanding win.
Men’s: Sportspower USA 92 (Terrance Thomas 27, Paul Grant 26, Anthony Bonner 14) bt Indian Railways 86 (Prakash Mishra 32, Vikram Parmar 14). H T: 54-47. Quarter wise score: 31-19, 23-28, 15-21, 23-18.
Boys u-20: Indian Gym 82 (Jeet Gada 24, Raj Kalbhor 24) bt Ghatkopar YMCA 68 (Rohan Jagtap 13, Aakash Rane 13), Quarter wise score: 20-20, 21-16, 21-23, 27-6).
Savio’s 67 (Melvin Rego 28, Luv Lahankar 12) bt Mastan YMCA 41 (Salman Shaikh 28, Sunny Malik 8). Quarter wise score: 14-8, 20-11, 13-12, 20-10.
Women’s: Southern Railway 79 (Geetu Anna Jose 24, Apporva J. 19) bt Chhattisgarh 47 (Bharti Savio scored their second victory against Mastan YMCA 67-41 to reach in the Super League stage.
Netam 13, M Pushpa 11). Quarter wise score: 31-11, 21-10, 14-16, 13-10.