Bengaluru, 26th August 2018: The 5th edition of the Mulki Sunder Ram Shetty All India Basketball Tournament, organized by Vijaya Bank, concluded today at the Beagles Indoor Basketball Stadium, Malleswaram.
Income Tax, Chennai were named the champions defeating the hosts Vijaya Bank in the final. Indian Navy, Lonavala finished at 3rd place whereas I.C.F Chennai finished 4th.
Along with trophies, cash prizes of Rs. 1,00,000/- for the winners, Rs. 50,000/- for the runners-up, and Rs. 25,000/- and Rs. 10,000 for the 3rd and 4th place teams respectively, were awarded.
Besides these, individual awards of Rs. 4,000/- each were given to G Sivabalan of Income Tax (Most Valuable Player), Hareesh M of Vijaya Bank (Most promising player), Clinton Andrews of Vijaya Bank (Best defensive player) and Ravi Kumar of Income Tax (Crowd favourite).
Vijaya Bank’s Executive Directors Sri Nageswara Rao Y and Sri Murali Ramaswami distributed the trophies and awards.
Income Tax beat Vijaya Bank 76-72
The final game of the tournament was played between the host team Vijaya Bank and Income tax Chennai. Income Tax has remained undefeated in the tournament so far and even registered a win over Vijaya Bank in the league stage.
Hosts Vijaya Bank tipped off the final game with a lot of home crowd support taking an early double-digit lead midway through the first quarter with Arvind Arumugam dominating the defensive as well as offensive boards. Meanwhile, Vijaya Bank’s top scorer throughout the tournament Anil Kumar kept on finishing some difficult fastbreak layups. Income Tax tried to sneak back into the game with their center Jeevanantham Pandi blocking Hareesh back to back on the same possession. This was followed by a few quick mid-range jump shots from Ravikumar which helped the Taxmen cut the lead down to 5 points, trailing 13-18 at the end of the 1st quarter.
The 2nd quarter started with some really great defensive stops from Vijaya Bank and Arvind Arumugam was doing it all from fastbreak layups to cleaning up misses from his teammates from under the ring. G Sivabalan got things started for Income Tax with a couple of tough layups followed by a three-pointer, then a well fought drive to the ring by point guard Ravi Bopanna helped Income Tax get their first lead of the game midway through the 2nd quarter. As the hosts slowed down a bit on offense, Income Tax took the opportunity and built upon their lead and finished the quarter 39-32.
Income Tax started the 3rd quarter with two quick baskets by their floor general Akilan Pari but Vijaya Bank responded with a three-pointer from Anil Kumar and a sweet hook shot from Arvind Arumugam. Midway during the quarter Vijaya Bank started leaking a lot of points on fastbreaks which helped Income Tax gain a 14 point lead. Karthik S of Vijaya Bank helped the hosts crawl back into the game with three consecutive baskets off the break but G Sivabalan helped Income Tax maintain a 61-51 lead by the end of this quarter.
The 4th quarter saw the hosts Vijaya Bank turn on the defensive intensity which helped them get more opportunities on offense which they made good use of. Clinton Andrews of Vijaya Bank showed some great hustle on the offensive glass which helped the hosts cut the lead down to 6 points midway through the final quarter. Ravikumar of Income Tax maintained his shooting streak as he drained three deep mid-range shots to help his team regain a double-digit lead. With two minutes remaining in the game, a three-pointer by Nagaraj followed by another three from Anil Kumar helped the hosts get back into the game but they fell short of time and Income Tax managed to seal the game with a clutch layup shot from Sivabalan with less than 30 seconds remaining for the final buzzer.
Final Score: Income Tax 76(Ravi Kumar 26 pts, Jeevanantham Pandi 16 pts, G Sivabalan 13 pts) beat Vijaya Bank 72(Anil Kumar 27 pts, Arvind Arumugam 20 pts)[13-18, 26-14, 22-19, 15-21]
Indian Navy beat I.C.F Chennai 69-59
The game for the third place saw Indian Navy, Lonavala take on I.C.F Chennai. It was a rematch of the first match of Group A where Indian Navy completely dominated I.C.F throughout the game.
Indian Navy tipped off things in their own way, blazing away with a double-digit lead in the first few minutes of the game itself whereas I.C.F didn’t look like their usual self as they kept on missing almost all of their midrange attempts. Indian Navy led 25-10 at the end of the 1st quarter.
The 2nd quarter had a similar story as Vivek Goti of Indian Navy wasn’t letting any of the I.C.F’s shots get through him. Later in the quarter G.A. Anto Bethle took the charge for I.C.F and managed to outscore Indian Navy in this quarter. But I.C.F. still trailed 25-37.
I.C.F were trying hard to get back into the game with the help of their shooting guard Praveen Kumar who came in hot in the second half scoring 13 consecutive points for his team alone which included three deep range shots. Meanwhile, Mahipal Singh Bhati of Indian Navy wouldn't be stopped as he continued finding the ring and helped Indian Navy lead I.C.F 58-44 at the end of the 3rd quarter.
The beginning of the 4th quarter saw a complete turn of events as I.C.F surprised everyone with a small comeback of their own with contributions from everyone on their team. But it wasn't enough to get them the victory. Indian Navy maintained their lead with some good hustle later in the 4th quarter and managed to clinch the 3rd position.
Final Score: Indian Navy 69(Mahipal Singh 23 pts, Vivek Goti 13 pts) beat I.C.F Chennai 59(Praveen Kumar)[25-10, 12-15, 19-19, 13-15]