70th National Basketball Championship: Semifinals lineup set for men and women
- The 70th Senior National Basketball Championship for Men and Women is underway at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana, Punjab.
The 70th Senior National Basketball Championship is well underway in Punjab. As per information available so far, Uttarakhand and Indian Railways (in the men's division) and Punjab (in the women's section) are through to the semifinals.
While the seasoned Uttarakhand veterans led by internationals Yadwinder Singh and Vishesh Bhriguvanshi staved off Services 86-75, Railways outlasted Karnataka 93-78. In the women's section, hosts Punjab exceeded expectations by reaching the final four, beating Telangana 72-65.
The full semifinals lineup (to be played on 27/12/19) is as follows:
- Indian Railways vs Madhya Pradesh - 2:30 pm
- Punjab vs Kerala - 4:00 pm
- Punjab vs Uttarakhand - 5:30 pm
- Indian Railways vs Tamil Nadu - 7:00 pm
The Championship is being held at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana (which is home to the renowed Ludhiana Basketball Academy).
Punjab men and Railways women are the defending champions. Both these teams are favourites to retain their crown this year too, having finished undefeated throughout the league stage. Besides them, Tamil Nadu men is the only other undefeated team still in the fray.
From the lower level, Chandigarh (both men and women teams), Uttar Pradesh (men) and Rajasthan (women) have been promoted to Level 1 for the next edition of the Championship. Meanwhile, Delhi, Rajasthan (both men) and Tamil Nadu (women) are among the teams relegated from Level 1 to Level 2.
All the Nationals results available so far can be accessed here.
Why Nationals are important
Besides crowning the overall best performing basketball states in India, the National Championships (whether at the Senior, U18, U16 or U14 levels) are the primary bases for India team selections.
For many of India's senior and upcoming stars, doing well in the Nationals is a matter of immense prestige and importance. Podium finishes and certificates from the Nationals also help participating athletes with securing government jobs, sports quota seats in leading colleges and the promise of scholarships in foreign universities.
At the younger age group levels, the Nationals are also attended by scouts from the NBA India Academy, which in turn brings promising players on the radar of NBA India scouts.
The Championship follows the league cum knockout format.
29 men's teams and 24 women's teams are taking part in this 70th edition.
As in past editions, the teams were divided into Level 1 (top 10 teams) and Level 2 (all the remaining teams). Within these Levels, teams are further divided into Groups (A & B in Level 1, and C to F in Level 2).
In the league stage, all teams within each group played against each other. Thereafter, the top teams from Level 1 progressed to the knockout rounds, where they were joined by the overall top two teams from Level 2.
Besides appearing in the knockout rounds, the two top Level 2 teams also achieve another key goal of getting promoted to Level 1 for the next edition. Meanwhile, the two bottom teams from Level 1 get relegated to Level 2.