Maharashtra lose first two games at basketball tournament

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Mumbai, Jan 24 (PTI) Maharashtra men slumped to theirsecond consecutive defeat, losing to national champions IndianRailways, in the league phase of the United Phosporus-SavioCup All India Basketball Tournament here today.

After a slow start against the rampaging Railwaymen,the Maharashtra hoopsters rallied and got their act togetherto put on an attractive display, but their early lethargyproved costly and they ended losing 70-94.

Having lost 54-78 to IOB in the opener, a rout seemedon the cards for Maharashtra against Railways. The initialaction of the match pointed to exactly that as Railwaysdominated completely and Maharashtra failed to open theiraccount in five minutes of the first quarter. They did findthe target thereafter to finish the quarter 13-25.

In the second quarter Maharashtra matched theirfancied rivals basket for basket and at times looked thebetter team on the court, with Raj Kalbhor and Mahesh Nagrecombining well to score baskets on fast breakthroughs. Thesuperior experience of Railways helped them keep their noseahead in the second quarter winning it 22-19.

Railways managed to maintain the momentum as well asthe lead over Maharashtra mainly due to the efforts of sevenfooter Yadwinder Singh and the shooting accuracy of PrakashMishra, who was the top scorer with 24 points.

For Maharashtra, Kalbhor top scored with 24 points,supported by Nagre (19) and Saurabh N (11).

Results: Men''s: IOB 78 (Pratham Singh 15, Ravi Kumar12, Hareesh Korooth 7) bt Maharashtra 54 (Raj Kalbhor 15,Sameer Sheikh 8, Amit Gehlot 7); Railways 94 (Prakash Mishra24, Yadwinder Singh 18, Arjun Singh 11) bt Maharashtra 70(Raj Kalbhor 25, Mahesh Nagre 19, Saurabh 11).

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