New Delhi, Feb 28 (IANS): Punjab and Services stole a march over their competitors in Group B registering important victories in the 64th National Basketball Championship at the Thyagaraj Stadium here Friday.
Punjab secured a quarterfinal berth defeating Kerala 84-70. They were down 19-24 in the first quarter but came back strongly with some power packed plays.
Palpreet Singh scored double-double with 31 points and 10 rebounds while Ranbir Singh finished with 23 points. Ajeeth Sugunan and Basil Philips scored 20 points apiece and Albin Babay added 11 points for Kerala.
Services romped to a 101-35 win over an under-performing Andhra Pradesh, who have failed to win yet. If Services beat Kerala Saturday they too will join Punjab in the quarters.
Gopal Ram starred for the Services with 22 points while Narender Grewal and Joginder Singh, with 14 points each, were the other key contributors.
After a surprise win over defending champions Uttarakhand Thursday, Tamil Nadu recorded their second straight victory with another impressive showing against Chhattisgarh, who they beat 71-42 in a Group A encounter.
Both teams were tied 34-all after the second quarter. Tamil Nadu, however, managed 22 points in the third quarter and gave away just two points to open up an unassailable lead.
Venkatesh S. scored 23 points with four three-pointers while Dinesh C. contributed 18 points. Rikin Pethani finished with a double-double of 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Meanwhile, Arvind A. scored 22 while Rajesh P. Uppan and Vishu P. added 18 points each as Karnataka defeated Jammu and Kashmir 99-66 in a Group D match.
In the women’s category, Kerala downed West Bengal 68-39. Jeena Scaria scored 29 and Stephn Nixon finished with 13 for Kerala.