Hyderabad: South Central Railway continued to be on a roll, registering a hard-fought 88-65 victory against Sanathnagar Play Ground (SPG) in the semifinals of the third Samuel Vasanth Kumar memorial prize money flood-lit basketball tournament at YMCA Secunderabad on Friday evening. At half-time, the winner led 52-30.
SPG ran the railway men close in the opening quarter, the latter piling up fouls and not on target with their outside shooting. The former put up stiff resistance, jealously guarding their backboard, leaving their much taller opponents little space to penetrate their defence.
As the match progressed, SPG couldn’t regroup in defence effectively, which Railways’ pivot and top-scorer Raju M. capitalised on. Backing him up in attack were Vijay, with five three-pointers in his tally of 23 and Santosh Mani who had 20 points. Just when SPG was being written off, they came back strongly in the third quarter thanks to shooter Nikhil, point guards Shiva Teja Yadav and Shoaib Khan.
Shoaib was a pocket-sized dynamo, his mushroom haircut a sight to behold as he zipped to and fro.
The results: SCR 88 (Raju M. 24, Vijay 23, Santosh Mani 20, Mallaiah 10) bt SPG 65 (Nikhil 22, Shiva Teja Yadav 15, Shoaib Khan 12).