Chennai: Last year`s finalists Services survived anxious moments before prevailing over a fighting Chattisgarh, while defending champions Indian Railways men and women eased through their matches on the inaugural day of the 62nd Senior National Basketball championship on Friday.
Looking to score a hat-trick of title wins, top seeds Railways beat Uttar Pradesh 99-70 in Group A men, while its women, minus star player Geetu Anna Jose, who was warming the bench, thrashed Punjab Railways by a whopping 103-37. Services squeaked through, beating Chattisgarh 70-66.
Chattisgarh gave a torrid time to Services through the attacking Kiran Pal Singh and others. They led 37-25 at the break.
Services tightened their game in the second half and not only took the lead but kept their rivals at bay for most part.
Services at one stage led 45-39 before winning at 70-66.
Narender Kumar and K Vipin were the mainstay for Services and netted 18 points each, while Kiran Pal Singh came good with 21 points for Chattisgarh.
The Delhi-Uttarakhand match in Group-A could not be started as the latter fielded two Railway imports? Yadwinder Singh and Vishesh Briguvanshi, which Delhi took objection to as they had not obtained `no objection` certificate from Railways and were therefore ineligible to represent Uttarakhand.
The Basketball Federation has decided to seek legal opinion on Delhi`s objection, pending which Uttarkhand`s Group B matches against Services, Punjab and Chattisgarh, besides Delhi have been kept in abeyance.