Bhilwara, Rajasthan, May 30 (UNI) Title contenders Punjab turned out an exilarating display to beat a gritty Rajasthan 88-74 in a nail-biting encounter to enter the semi-finals of the 59th Junior National Basketball Championship here today.
Rajasthan dominated the early exchanges and led 46-45 at the end of the second quarter.
However, Punjab came back strongly in the third quarter with Lovedeep Sharma and Rajan Sharma leading the charge with a couple of three pointers apiece.
The Punjab cagers were spot on with their shot selection as they swept away the Rajasthan defence.
Lokesh and Hirender were the outstanding performers for the hosts but others failed to leave their mark as Punjab scored 34 points in the third quarter with Rajasthan only managing a mere 13.
The comfortable 79-58 lead prompted the Punjab coach to substitute his regulars. This only helped Rajasthan reduce the lead by seven points but by then their game plan had fallen apart.
Punjab will now take on Chhattisgarh in the last four stage.
Meanwhile, in other matches, Delhi boys and girls teams faced little resistance from their opponents and easily accounted for Tamil Nadu 69-27 and Madhya Pradesh 65-36 respectively.
Sunil, Sachin Sombirm and Mosoum played well for the Delhi boys while Pratima Singh, Sonkia and Niharika were in superb form for the girls' team.
In the second semi-final in the boys event, Delhi will play Uttar Pradesh who defeated Haryana 76-68.
In the girls section, Delhi will face Chhattisgarh while Kerala will take on Maharashtra in the semis.
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