National champs Services crash out; Maharashtra women in final

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Mumbai, Nov 21 (UNI) Formidable Rest of India registered a pulsating 93-92 win to send National champions and last year's runners-up Services crashing out of the tournament, in the fourth All India UPL Savio Cup Basketball Tournament, at Don Bosco School, Matunga here today.

As both teams were playing their third match in the five-team men's round robin league after enduring two defeats, a win was crucial to keep their hopes alive in the competition. It inspired both sides to come up with their best and they ended the encounter with a thrilling climax.

Rest of india got off to a robust start and surged to an 11-point lead at 33-22 in the first quarter. It was an ominous sign early in the match for Services but they came right back in the fray by snatching the second quarter at 26-18 to trail by just three points at 48-51 at half time.

With both teams giving little away in entertaining next two quarters, Services enjoyed the edge in the third quarter and in a desperate bid to gain the advantage, both sides ended the nail-biting fourth and concluding quarter at 25-25.

But the lead enjoyed by Rest in the opening quarter proved decisive and Services made a premature exit after a disappointing campaign.

Services also lost to Shooting for Success, USA 77-88 in their concluding league tie. In the process, the US cagers kept their hopes afloat with their second win from three matches.

Once again, SFS were led by professional David Jones, who was top scorer with 29 points, while power forward Brandon Thomas contributed 18, shooting guard Markus Spitzer scored 15, point guard Nikolas Summers added 14 and forward Naveen Shawn Sridhar scored 11.

In the four-team women's round robin league, Maharashtra routed Delhi 83-54 to register their second win in as many outings to seal their place in the final. In the process, Delhi crashed to their second defeat in as many ties to bow out of the fray.

Maharashtra will take on two-time Savio Cup champions Southern Railway in the championship round on Saturday.

RESULTS: Men: Rest of India 93 (Jagjit Singh 31, Dilawar Singh 19, Arjun Singh 19, Lokesh Yadav 8) bt Services 92 (Dalip Singh 23, Sweeto Francis 17, Sambhaji Kadam 17, Smithin Setta 9). HT: 50-40.

Indian Railways 104 (Harpal Singh 24, Prakash Mishra 23, Birendra Singh 16) bt Shooting For Success, USA 60 (David Jones 23, Nikolas Summers 15). HT: 34-28.

Shooting For Success, USA 88 (David Jones 29, Brandon Thomas 18, Markus Spitzer 15, Nikolas Summers 14, Naveen Shawn Sridhar 11) bt Services 77 (A. Babu 22, Dalip Singh 19, Sambhaji Kadam 13).

WOMEN: Maharashtra 83 (Manisha 20, Indu 12, Lincy Joseph 11, Jeo Blessan 11) bt Delhi 54 (Aakanksha Singh 12, Pratibha Singh 12). HT: 46-26.

UNI GS RN SKB RAR VC1947

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