Navy storm into semi-finals

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Mumbai, Oct 19 (UNI) Indian Navy shunted out a gallant Central Excise and Customs, Kochi, following a pulsating 77-70 win in the concluding men's Group 'B' tie, in the 24th United Phosphorous All India Ramu Memorial Basketball Tournament at the Indian Gymkhana here today.

Navy, who topped the group with all three wins, did Western Railway a good turn as the latter qualified for the semi-finals as the second team from the group.

Central Excise, who crashed to their second defeat, came breathtakingly close to pulling off an upset but they lost their way in the last half minute, when Navy capitalised on two fouls.

In a late night match yesterday, Navy pipped Western Railway 98-83 in another thrilling encounter that threw Group 'B' wide open with both teams aggregating two wins each. The third team in the fray, Central Excise and Customs had a win and a loss to their credit before Navy settled the issue today.

Indian Army fashioned their second win to qualify for the semi-final in Group 'A' after an emphatic 80-43 win over South Central Railway, who crashed to their second defeat and are out of contention. Vijaya Bank, Bangalore, is the other team from the group to make it to the last four.

Defending women's champions Southern Railway, Chennai, trounced Central Railway 82-56 to top Group 'A' and advance to the semi-finals.

Led by India star Geethu Anna Jose, Southern Railway surged to a comfortable 40-23 lead at half-time, before enduring a surprise challenge from Central in the third quarter. But Southern came back strongly in the fourth to seal a comfortable win.

The loss pushed Central Railway to the second semi-final spot in the group, with an earlier win over Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) who lost both their ties and crashed out of the competition.

Results: Men (Group 'A'): Indian Army 80 (Dalip Kumar 22, Kapil Poonia 10, Navneet Singh 10, Sweeto Francis 8) bt South Central Rly 43 (Liju Abraham 13, Laxman 8).

Group 'B': Indian Navy 77 (K Vipin 29, A A Mashi 17, S Cherian 13) bt Central Excise and Customs, Kochi, 70 (Subhash Shenoy 25, Sunny Thomas 19, S. Deepan 11); Indian Navy 98 (K Vipin 28, S M Settu 23, A A Mashi 19) bt Western Rly 83 (Jasjot Singh 24, Prakash Mishra 12, Yadwinder Singh 10).

Women (Group 'B'): Southern Rly 82 (Geethu Anna Jose 18, P Anitha 16, Shyamala 15) bt Central Rly 56 (Indu 17, Beena 12).


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