With a total of 47 boys' and girls' under-18 teams attending and ready to contend for the title, India's 2014 Junior National Basketball Championship tipped off in Kochi (Kerala) on Monday. From their very first game, Girls' reigning champs Chhattisgarh made their intent clear to once again be considered as one of the title favourites with a big win over Tamil Nadu. In the boys' division, top contenders Tamil Nadu and Punjab both got their campaigns off with convincing victories as well.
The championship was declared open at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium in the city by Hibi Eden (MLA) and presided by the K Manohar Kumar, the president of the Kerala Basketball Association (KBA). The Basketball Federation of India (BFI) is organizing the tournament in auspices with the KBA. The finale of the tournament is set to be held on June 2.
- Group A: Delhi, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana.
- Group B: Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Odhisa, Maharashtra.
- Group C: Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir.
- Group D: Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Puducherry.
- Group E: Bihar, Goa, Uttarakhand.
- Group F: Assam, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal.
- Group A: Chhattissgarh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab.
- Group B: Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana.
- Group C: Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir.
- Group D: Delhi, Gujarat, Puducherry.
- Group E: Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Uttarakhand.
- Group F: Bihar, Chandigarh, West Bengal.
In a high-scoring contest, Preeti Kumari exploded for 40 points to help lead Uttar Pradesh to a 85-79 win over Karnataka. The victory included UP bouncing back from a nine point deficit at the end of the third quarter to outscore their opponents 32-17 in the final period. Barkha Sonkar added 20 for UP. Bhandavya and Lopamurda - two of the top young Karnataka players - led their team with 26 and 23 points each.
Boys' finalists Punjab got off to a good start, as Jaipal Singh (23) and Arshpreet Singh (17) helped their side to a 75-52 blowout win over Karnataka.
Selected Scores Boys
- Tamil Nadu (Jedidah 24, Muin 15) bt. Maharashtra (Qureshi 15) 90-49(17-6, 34-15, 23-13, 16-15).
- Punjab (Jaipal Singh 23, Arshpreet Singh 17) bt Karnataka 75-52 (12-11, 14-6, 18-16, 31-19).
- Madhya Pradesh (Shubham Mishra 26, BP Singh 16, H Singh 16) bt Kerala (Akhil AR 18) 75-64 (9-23, 13-16, 28-6, 25-19).
- Chhattisgarh (Sharanjeet Kaur 29, Sangeeta Kaur 23) bt. Tamil Nadu (Shrividhya 24) 83-64 (15-21, 25-10, 16-15, 27-18).
- Uttar Pradesh (Preeti Kumari 40, Barkha Sonkar 20) bt. Karnataka (Bhandavya 26, Lopamudra 23) 85-79 (21-26, 16-13, 16-23, 32-17).
- Delhi (Nishita 20, Soumya Babbar 16, Jyoti Rai 15) bt. Puducherry 73-29 (20-7, 21-11, 15-4, 17-7).