Senior National Basketball Championships 2023: Tamil Nadu, Indian Railways clinch gold medals
(Courtesy : Basketball Federation of India)
Hosts Punjab finished third in men’s division.
The Indian Railways women’s team and the Tamil Nadu men’s team lived upto the expectations and clinched top spots respectively at the Senior National Basketball Championships 2023. The former beat Kerala 80-50 in a one-sided contest and furthermore defended their title. Later in the day, last year’s runners-up TN went a step further to beat Indian Railways in a close encounter 72-67.
In the first final, the Kerala women’s basketball team got off to a tremendous start with a nine-point lead (21-12) but in a span of few minutes, the Indian Railways got back and reduced the gap to two points (33-35). The south side took a long time to get past the 35 points barrier, while the Railways ran away with a flurry of points. From two points deficit, Railways surged to a 10-point lead (45-35).
This halted Kerala’s momentum and from here on it was one-way traffic with Railways taking the match forward.
The men’s final was a tight contest with Indian Railways holding back till the last minute. TN led for majority of the encounter with Railways trying to close down the deficit. In the final quarter, TN was leading by healthy 10 points (67-57) with five minutes left on the clock. Instead of staying proactive, the southern side went on the defensive mode and the opposition made use of this by scoring quick points.
Indian Railways brought down the deficit to two by scoring eight successive points (67-69). However, holding wealth of experience, TN held back and fought to maintain the slender lead. In the end, TN cinched the 73rd edition of the championships by a five-point margin. Surprisingly, Indian Railways defeated hosts and reigning champions Punjab to reach the final.
In the bronze medal playoff matches, TN women’s team and Punjab men’s team beat Karnataka and Delhi respectively.