Chhattisgarh down fighting Maharashtra to enter final

Mumbai, Jan 29 (PTI) Maharashtra women fought hard beforegoing down to Chhattisgarh 72-84 here today in the lastleague match that piloted the latter into the final of theUnited Phosphorous Savio Cup all-India Basketball Tournament.

The local girls, who were egged on by the crowd, eventook a slender 3-point lead in the third quarter beforefloundering against their most experienced rivals in the lastquarter and making their exit.

Chhattisgarh will take on Southern Railway tomorrow inthe final of the tournament hosted by Don Bosco.

Shooting for Success, USA, have already booked theirplace in the men''s final and await the winners of the crucialleague match between Indian Railways and Indian Overseas Bankin the title match, also to be held tomorrow.

Maharashtra eves, a young side revolving around theexperience of skipper Manisha Dange, made a sluggish startand trailed 18-28 at the end of the first quarter.

A few three-ponites by Manisha galvanised the otherplayers to find their scoring touch. The local outfit wasbetter in the second quarter, outscoring their rivals 19-17and maintained the momentum in the third to level scores andtake the lead at 50-47.

It was a close contest thereafter with Maharashtrahanging on till 65-65 in the fourth with around four minutesto go when Chhattisgarh''s experienced duo of Seema Singh andAnju Lakra changed gears and crushed the local women''s hopes.

In an earlier inconsequential men''s league match, Punjabrouted Maharashtra 71-56. (More) PTI SSR RSY SHN

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