Ludhiana, Punjab, 2nd October 2015: The 66th Junior National Basketball Championship tipped off today morning in Ludhiana, Punjab. The tournament for the ‘18 and under’ category will take place from October 2 to October 9 2015 in the basketball hotbed of Punjab, which has produced numerous star international players. The Punjab Basketball Association is the organising body for the tournament under the aegis of the Basketball Federation of India. The venue for the championship is the courts at the Guru Nanak Stadium. There is one indoor court and two outdoor courts at the venue.
Last year’s Junior National Championship was held in Kochi, Kerala. Home team Punjab boys were the winners of the 65thversion of the tournament; while Delhi came runners up and Tamil Nadu were the third placed team in the boys’ category. For the girls, Chhattisgarh are the defending champions, who defeated the Kerala girls in the final last year. Uttar Pradesh girls achieved third place.
This year’s tournament will witness the participation of 24 states, each with a boys’ and girls’ team. The last time a national level basketball championship was held in Ludhiana was the Senior National Basketball Championship in 2012-13.
On the morning of Day 1 of the championship, last year’s boys’ third placed team Tamil Nadu started the tournament strong with a victory against Kerala 80-59. The MVP of the recently concluded Youth National Championship P. Baladhaneshwar is also a member of Tamil Nadu’s Junior team and put up 14 points today. His teammates Hari Ram and Surya contributed 23 points each. Madhya Pradesh boys also started out with a victory in a close game against Karnataka that ended 58-50.
In the level 2 games of the morning, Goa and Chandigarh girls picked up victories in one-sided contests against Jammu and Kashmir and Puducherry respectively. The girls’ contingent of the Tripura team, the only team from the North-East in this year’s tournament, lost their first game against the Andhra Pradesh girls.
In the boys’ level 2 games, the Goa boys matched their girls’ team performance with a win against Telengana, while the Puducherry boys pulled off a win against Odisha. The match between the Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal boys was a tightly fought contest with Uttar Pradesh edging past their opponent 67-65.
The opening ceremony is scheduled to take place today evening at 4:30 p.m. at the venue. The chief guest for the occasion will be Mr. Ramesh Wadhera, CEO of Feather Line Impex Pvt. Ltd. Home team Punjab boys and girls will play their opening games today evening after the ceremony.
Goa (Gaylemaria Gomes 8, Rachel Raposa 8, Rose Rhea Rebeilo 5) bt Jammu and Kashmir 36-16 (5-4, 14-4, 10-4, 9-4)
Chandigarh (Amrit 30, Tanu 8) bt Puducherry (Uma 9, Radika 4) 48-17 (18-7, 12-5, 16-3, 2-2)
Andhra Pradesh (S.K. Hafijunnisha 18, Nikitha 10, Manisha 6) bt Tripura (Mehrien 8, Jyoti 4, Sonali 4) 40-19 (16-2, 12-8, 4-3, 8-6)
Madhya Pradesh (Mithun 18, Ashish 13, Rishabh 10) bt Karnataka (Karthikh 19, Mapees 11) 58-50 (8-11, 16-11, 14-15, 20-13)
Tamil Nadu (R. Hari Ram 23, A. Surya 23, P. Baladhaneshwar 14) bt Kerala (Antony Johnson 11, Aditya Amady 10, Sugeeth Nath 9) 80-59 (25-16, 18-16, 22-11, 15-16)
Puducherry (Baravi 29, Atchuthan 16) bt Odisha (Sumay K. 18, Amit K.R. Sharma 12) 61-53 (12-16, 13-9, 11-19, 25-9)
Uttar Pradesh (Atal Rai 19, Shivan 12, Abhishek S. 9) bt West Bengal (Arka Saha 15, Dhramendra R. 14) 67-65 (16-9, 14-16, 15-16, 22-24)
Goa (Roy Pereira 16, Georre Lobo 10) bt Telangana (S. Sai Kumar 18, M. Uday Kiran 5) 41-35 (10-9, 7-13, 11-7, 13-6)