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Nimhan memorial u-16 basketball tournament: Favourites Deccan boys, girls bite the dust

Patil, Kokate star as Sharp Shooters ruin Deccan’s evening

pune Updated: May 25, 2018 16:45 IST
Pranav Shahaney
Pranav Shahaney
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Nimhan memorial u-16 basketball tournament,boys
The Sharp Shooters A team after winning the Late Sanjay Mahadeo Nimhan memorial under­16 basketball championship at Deccan Gymkhana on Thursday.(SHANKAR NARAYAN/HT PHOTO)

Sharp Shooters A’s 79-74 win in the boys final of the 7th Late Sanjay Mahadeo Nimhan memorial under-16 basketball tournament ensured that Deccan Gymkhana, despite their home advantage, had to settle only for second place in both the boys and girls draw.

In the earlier match of the tournament, Sardar Dastur high school girls had beaten Deccan Gymkhana 53-45.

The boys’ final teed off with Sharp Shooters scoring straight eight points and many believed this was the sign of things to come. However, a determined Deccan unit fought back and used the pace in their side to stretch the opponents.

They managed to narrow their deficit and once they pegged them back to draw level. The game swung back and forth till the very end. At half time, the score read 34-32 in favour of the hosts.

In the third, Sharp Shooters mauled their opponents, winning the quarter 27-14, which ensured they took a double digit lead into the fourth. Then, they prioritised on their defence and secured a convincing five-point win over the hosts.

It was a day to forget for the Deccan Gymkhana coaches as their sides lost both the finals and went back home wondering what could have happened. On the other hand, the camps of Dastur and Sharp Shooters were overjoyed by the performances of their players, and will remember the evening for many weeks to come.

Sardar Dastur scores the upset of the tournament

Sardar Dastur high school girls (light blue) had a comfortable win over Deccan Gymkhana in the final on Thursday. (SHANKAR NARAYAN/HT PHOTO)

It was a day of celebrations for Sardar Dastur high school girls as they stunned hosts and tournament favourites Deccan Gymkhana with a 53-45 win in the 7th Late Sanjay Mahadeo Nimhan memorial under-16 basketball tournament.

As many expected, Deccan took the ascendancy from the off and dominated proceedings in the first quarter.

They relied heavily on Saanvi Gholap who looked in top form since the start of the game. She scored baskets at regular intervals to ensure Deccan going into the second with their noses in front.

In the second, a resurgent Dastur came back all guns blazing and won key offensive rebounds to ensure their domination. They outscored their opponents 15-12 in the second as the half-time score read 25-24 in their favour.

Ever since leading in the second, Dastur never seemed like losing control of the game. They continued their fine run going into the third quarter as well as they outscored their opponents by three points to take a four point cushion going into the final quarter.

In this quarter, Palak Parlesha controlled the tempo from the start while Saanika Kirad scored points from tight angles to extend her team’s lead and created some real daylight between themselves and their opponents. Kirad ended the evening with an impressive haul of 15 points to her name.

Lalit Nahata, Pune district basketball association vice-president and Dastur head coach, said, “Our performances throughout the tournament could have been better, but I am still happy with the efforts my girls have shown. With each match we have improved as a unit and that has been the cause for our success.

“In the final, we played a man-to-man high press and took Deccan by surprise. “That rattled them and took them off guard which led to our win. This group of girls has a lot of potential and I’m optimistic of good things for them in the future.”

First Published: May 25, 2018 16:43 IST