Punjab down IOB, to meet ONGC in final

Mumbai: Punjab re-asserted their superiority over Indian Overseas Bank, winning their men`s semi-final league match 67-53, to earn a place in the final against ONGC in the 7th All-India Savio Cup Don Bosco Basketball tournament on Saturday.

With both the teams having lost out to ONGC in the four-team league and with one win apiece against their name, it was a do-or-die affair, in which, the fitter and stronger Punjab team prevailed at the Don Bosco (Matunga) courts here.

In the earlier match of the day, ONGC, who had already made the final, went down 52-89 to Shooting For Success, USA and give the team from overseas, something to savour on the return journey.

The women`s final, also to be held on Sunday, will see Southern Railway take on South East Central Railway.

Punjab, bolstered by the arrival of Talvinder Singh, began playing at a furious pace against the Chennai-based IOB, whom, they had already beaten in the earlier stages of the tournament.

With Talvider playing the role of ball handler, Jagdeep Singh was free to drive in from the sides as well as concentrate more on defence.

Amjot Singh was his consistent self and top scored with 18, while Jagdeep Singh contributed 16 points. Amritpal Singh Jr and Talvinder Singh scored 14 and 12 points respectively to round up the tally for Punjab.

IOB were hampered further by the listless display of Mihir Pandey, who was substituted early in the match and though Prasanna V and Vineeth Mathew put up a game fight, they just did not have the power to muscle into the Punjab zone.

An early 21-10 lead after the first quarter was extended to 38-22 at half time. While IOB managed to narrow the lead down to 39-51 in the third, they could not do much in the fourth to stop Punjab from emerging 67-53 winners.

Scores: Punjab 67 (Amjot Singh 18, Jagdeep Singh 16, Amritpal Singh Jr 14, Talvinder Singh 12) bt IOB 53 (Prasanna V 13, Vineet Mathew 10, Abhilekh Paul 8, Shivabalan 8)