26 March 2016: The Basketball Club of JNU organized it’s first ever Annual Basketball Championship 2016-17 at the Sports Stadium from 23 to 24 March 2016 in JNU. Due credit goes to the Sports Office, especially Dr Vikram Singh, Asst Director, PE and the basketball conveners Manish Choudhari and Shubham Ankit Kujur.
Some of them who played at the tournament like Manish, Shubham, Rakesh, Kulwinder, Anmol, Rachel and a few others are regular at the basketball court near Tapti, which showed in the deft manner they would flick the ball into the net; anticipate each other’s moves and passes; most of them familiar with each other’s individual strengths and weaknesses using the information to their full advantage in their respective games.
The tournament was divided into 2 sets of games : full court with 5 players and half court with 3 players in each team.While a full court match had 4 quarters consisting of 10 minutes each, the half court had 2 quarters of 10 minutes each.There were 4 men’s teams and 2 women’s teams competing for the champion’s trophy.
The 2 women’s teams directly qualified for the finals. A half court match saw Anmol, Manisha and Rachel’s team dominating the game and winning the finals.
‘Oooh’s’ and ‘aah’s’ went in unison among the spectators, as Anmol dunked the ball into the basket, her teammates filling in, whenever required.
On the other hand, the four men’s teams had to play 3 full court league matches. The two teams with the highest points qualified for the finals on the eve of 24 March at the stadium. In what can be considered a rigorous format, some teams also opted to play half court matches.
The ‘JNU Bulls’ played their best : Manish, Saksham and Vikas against the ‘Sainians.’ Sainians used 6 players – Shiv, Sonu, Akshay, Chandan, Nandi and Ritesh, having quite a few substitutions in the game but lost to the Bulls 18-37. The JNU Bulls in the next half court game defeated the trio of Vijay, Sam and Deepak 31-17. JNU Stallions too played and won a half court match.
The first day of the tournament saw most of the league matches being played among the four men’s teams, the last of which between JNU Bulls and the Sainians had to be scheduled for the next day due to lack of time.The event started at the wee hours of 6: 30 in the evening and continued till late night on the first day, 23 March 2017.
Most of the people who visit the stadium to get some exercise were completely taken in, and within a few minutes most of them had abandoned their individual activities to watch the fast-moving game. In most games, there is usually a lull, the players scourge for opportunities and then score. Here, there was not even time enough for a breather.
One moment you saw someone dribbling the ball across the court, being accosted by the opponents; a few passes and assists and someone on the other end shoots. It misses the basket and there is a quick rebound. Before you know the ball has already moved down the court to the other end.
JNU Bulls comfortably cruised through the league matches, to romping victories. They played an offensive game, defeating the opponent team by a margin of almost double the score. The secret probably lay in the quick rebounds that the team managed, thanks to the Manish.
Again Manish got valuable points to the team, he was ably assisted by the teammates Saksham, Manish and Kulwinder, each of whom could add points to the tally. Better coordination and team understanding meant that they could also effectively steal shots, block and contest passes.
The finals was set : the fiesty Bulls versus the agile Stallions. The players from the two teams have been playing against each other for quite some time, and the teams being leveled it seemed it would be a close finish. The Bulls though did appear to have an upper hand.
The Sainians too put up a strong performance. They won 4-29, a huge margin against the opponent team which had students from the North East. Though, on Day-2 their journey was impeded by the Bulls, the latter defeated Sainians in a one-sided match 52-27.
Game Scorecards :
Day – 1
(Games in no particular order)
Match – 1
Team A Team B (Sainians)
Result : Team B won 29-4
Match – 2
Team A Team B
Result : Team A won 37-18
Match – 3
Team A Team B
Result : Team A won 31-17
[The scorecard is incomplete, we will be updating the scores of the other teams shortly.]
The Informer correspondent. With inputs from Manish Choudhury and Shubham Ankit Kujur.
Pictures are by Sunaina Dular.