Hyderabad: In an electrifying final league match, South Central Railway came back strongly after trailing 19-31 at half-time to score a thrilling 72-71 win over Army Ordinance Corps to clinch the Departments title in the Annual League Basketball Championship here on Monday.
The match began well with scores going neck to neck. While Raju did bulk of the scoring for SCR, Sano Sowmya chipped in for AOC as SCR led with 15-14 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, AOC switched to a tight man-to-man defence to restrict SCR to five points, while they in turn played a fast paced game through Siba and Sowmya as they scored 17 points to take a massive 31-19 lead at half-time.
SCR cagers regrouped after the lemon break and with AOC already in foul trouble, the resulting free throws were converted by SCR cagers to reduce the lead to four points, as AOC led 50-46 at the end of the third quarter.
In a fiercely contested fourth quarter, SCR managed to stay within striking distance of AOC’s score. With two minutes left the scores levelled at 61-61. With 30 seconds left for the match, aided by AOC, Irfan’s drive-in and a resultant free throw, AOC lead at 71-70. However, David converted two free throws to make it 72-71 in SCR’s favour, with 6 seconds left AOC tried to score, but failed to crack the tight defence of SCR.
The aggressive play by the Army outfit may be their undoing as they committed nearly, 31 personal fouls with four players of the starting line-up on the bench in the last quarter, which earned SCR easy free throws, which they duly converted. On the other hand, SCR committed only 11 personal fouls.
South Central Railway 72 (Santosh 24, Raju 21, David 15, Vijay 8) bt Army Ordinance Corps 71 (Sowmya 16, Irfan 14, Sachin 10, Raju 9). Half Time: 19-31.
Income Tax 67 (Shiva 19, Ganesh 13, Satish 13, Basha 8) bt Central Excise 50 (Vijay 16, Venkat 11, Vinay 7). Half Time: 34-26.