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NBA triumphs

Hyderabad: Nizam Basketball Academy (NBA) defeated Victory Playground 55-48 to win the D. Premakar Das Challenge Cup while St Francis College, Begumpet beat Kendriya Vidyalaya (Begumpet) 29-20 to clinch the Mrs. Rachel Abel Memorial Cup in the Andhra Pradesh Sports Journalists Association (APSJA) invitational basketball tournament for men and women respectively at the YMCA Secunderabad on Monday.

Besides the winner's and runners- up cups, the NBA team was presented with Rs.10,000, runner-up VPG with Rs.5,000, while St. Francis received Rs.5,000 and Kendriya Vidyalaya, Rs.3,000.

Helping Nizam along to the crown was former international Subbaiah Choudhary, his over six and a half foot frame finding the hoop with remarkable dexterity. Several international and national players, for a change not representing their institutional teams, turned out for more evenly matched teams, making the competition keen.

At the valedictory function, past greats of the game from the Twin Cities were felicitated. Among them were internationals Syed Ali Pasha Quadri, Yadagiri Rao (a state tennis veterans champ also), John Vinaya Sagar and Ponnraj Arthur besides BFI Technical Commission Chairman G.M. Sampath Kumar, FIBA Commissioner Norman Isaac, Hyderabad District Basketball Association Convenor Khader Abdullah and veteran sports journalist T.N. Pillay.

U.V. Narayana Murthy, former APSJA Secretary and now Deputy General Manager, YJK Group, who sponsored the best player trophies, also gave them away to Vijay of Nizam Basketball Academy and Aarthi of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Begumpet.

Current APSJA Secretary Dayadi Sampath Kumar presented the tournament report, while Joint Secretary Subhash Naithani introduced the guests and Vice President Asad Shameem proposed a vote of thanks. The scores (finals):

Women (Mrs. Rachel Abel Memorial Cup): St Francis 29 (Akarshini-12, Jennifer-6) bt Kendriya Vidyalaya (Begumpet) 20 (Sneha Priya-7, Arti-7).

Men (Mr. D. Premakar Das Challenge Cup): Nizam Basketball Academy 55 (Vijay-16, Subbaiah Choudhary -13) bt Victory Playground 48 (Ch. Naveen-21, Amruth Raj-12).

Best male player: Vijay (Nizam Basketball Academy). Best female player: Aarti (Kendriya Vidyalaya) . — Special Correspondent

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