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Ten-in-a-row for Vijaya Bank

Sports Reporter

BANGALORE: Vijaya Bank is the undisputed champion in the State league. In the final Senior Division basketball league encounter, the holder Vijaya Bank overcame a spirited challenge from Madras Engineering Group (MEG) for a 51-50 verdict to clinch the Prof. N.C. Parappa Memorial Trophy with an-all win record. This was the 10th time in-a-row that the bankmen are winning the Senior division title.

Good turnout

The Indoor courts of the Sree Kanteerava stadium had a good turnout this evening and the fans were treated to a keenly-fought match. The bankmen for all their dominance did look apprehensive this day and the MEG was quick to capitalise. Roshan, the new find for the bankmen did revel but did fail under the boards too and the taller MEG guards took charge. Murli Mohan the sharp shooting international did well in patches as did the tall Srinivasa Gowda and this did slacken the Bank's scoring.

MEG on the other hand, with veterans Sweeto Francis and Manikandan quite consistent with their conversions, did remain within striking distance in the second session after trailing 24-36 at half time. It was veteran coach-cum-captain Thangachan who with a couple of three pointers helped MEG bridge the half-time leeway and with Sweeto converting it did even take a slender 41-39 lead. But it was short-lived as Mueli Mohan and then Goutham converted for the bankmen.

Fighting dsplay

If 49-44 with barely three minute to go looked a handy lead for Vijay Bank the Sappers' never-say-die spirit surfaced and with Manoj and Manikandan finding the hoop the lead was just a point before the long hooter sounded.

MEG which needed a big win to topple the bankmen thus ended third in the league behind HAL and Vijaya Bank.

In a match for minor placing SAI (Dharwad) did snatch its first win a 61-44 verdict over Beagles, but not good enough to avoid relegation.

SAI Dharwad, alongwith NAL Colony, will thus figure in the `B' division league next season.

The `B' division and `C' division league champion and runner-up were also presented with the trophies.

The results: HAL 69 (Umashankar 25, Sachindra 14) bt JSC 51 (Ht: 40-28); ASC 57 (Ravindra 11, Kannan 10) bt NAL 30 (Hemanth 10) (Ht: 25-13).

SAI (Dharwad) 61 (Irappa katimani 17, Mahsin Kahn 13, Srinivas 13) bt Beagles 44 (Abhishek 13, Bharath 11)(Ht: 40-14); Sports Hostel (Bangalore) 56 (M.R. Varun 18, Sreenivas Naik 13) bt SAI (Dharwad) 43 (Kadli 17) (Ht: 36-20).

KSP 50 (Raghvendra 15, Mahesh 15) bt JSC 33 (Ht: 23-13); Vijaya Bank 51 ( Roshan 12, Murli Mohan 11) bt MEG 50 (Manikandan 16, Sweeto Francis 12) (Ht: 32-24).

Final standings: 1. Vijaya Bank, 2. HAL, 3. MEG, 4. KSP, 5. ASC, 6. Sports Hostel, 7. JSC, 8. Beagles, 9. NAL, 10. SAI (Dharwad).

`B: Division league: Winner: BEML (Mysore). Runner-up: SBI.

`C' division league: Winner: Vidyarayanpura. Runner-up: DRDO.

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