ONGC pip Karnataka in men's opening round thriller

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Mumbai, Nov 29 (UNI) ONGC, Uttaranchal, pipped a spirited Karnataka 77-76 in a pulsating opening of men's super league tie, in the 3rd All India United Phosphorous Savio Cup Basketball Tournament, at Don Bosco School, Matunga here today.

Karnataka came breathtakingly close to pulling off a sensational win in the last seconds but they failed to convert a golden opportunity that came their way.

ONGC, who trailed 31-32 at half-time, that reflected one of the tightest contests in the competition, held on dearly to a 77-73 lead in a dramatic last 43 seconds that were remaining.

Karnataka did not give up and pressed hard for a win and were rewarded when Varun scored a brilliant three-pointer that helped them close in at 76-77.

As the clocked ticked away, ONGC missed two free throws, while Karnataka bungled a rally. With just four seconds remaining, ONGC, playing under immense pressure, once again lost possession. But Karnataka's hopes crashed as they failed to take advantage with that last opportunity they received.

ONGC's Riyazuddin and Mohit Bhandari played stellar roles in their team's win and were rewarded with 23 and 16 points, respectively.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra women shocked Malaysia XI 74-52. Playing their first match, Maharashtra got off to a brilliant start while dominating the opening two quarters in a fast-paced encounter.

Maharashtra, who led 39-27 at half-time, surprised Malaysia while combining well and scoring at regular intervals. Malaysia recovered with a brief challenge in the third quarter but the Maharashtra girls had the match in complete control.

Jui John (18), Manisha Dangle (17) and Reshmi (15) scored the most for Maharashtra, while Chew Lunn (12), Chen Jing (11) and Nur Izzati (8) made significant contributions for the visitors.

In a thrilling men's preliminary match, ONGC (Uttaranchal) beat Railways 85-78. ONGC, who led 37-36 at half-time, were powered by Riyazuddin (16 points), Murli Krishna, Mohit Bhandari (15 each) and Suresh Kumar (13). Jasjot Singh (18), Yadvinder Singh (17) and Virender (16) scored the most for Railways.

RESULTS: Men's Super League: ONGC 77 (Riyazuddin 23, Mohit Bhandari 16, S Sridhar 12, Sukesh Kumar 10) bt Karnataka 76 (Nixon 16, Gautham 14, Tinu Joseph 14, Deiva Kumar 11). HT: 31-32.

Women's: Maharashtra 74 (Jui John 18, Manisha Dangle 17, Reshmi 15) bt Malaysia XI 52 (Chew Lunn 12, Chen Jing 11, Nur Izzati 8). HT: 39-27.

UNI

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