Kolkata: Defending champions Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) justified their top billing by entering the pre-quarterfinals in both the men`s and the women`s sections in the 72nd Senior National and Inter-State Table Tennis Championship.
Hosts West Bengal, North Bengal and Maharashtra also made it to the last-16 by topping their respective groups in the women`s section at the Netaji Indoor Stadium.
In their first rubber, PSPB team consisting K Shamini, Madhurika Patkar and Pooja Sahastrabudhe beat their opponents from Chandigarh 3-0 to open their group A campaign with a flier.
Then Shamini teamed up with Mouma Das and Divya Deshpande in their second and last group league fixture, to thrash Chhattisgarh 3-0 to seal their place in the
Maharashtra A won comfortably against Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh with an identical 3-0 scoreline in both the rounds en route to the last 16 from group B.
In group C, hosts West Bengal routed Maharashtra B and Himachal Pradesh 3-0 in both the rounds to make the next stage.
North Bengal qualified from group D beating Jharkhand (3-0) and Haryana (3-0).
In the men`s section, PSPB beat Andhra Pradesh and Orissa in their two rounds to ensure a last 16 berth.