Hyderabad: Loyola Academy, Sanathnagar Playground, BPHC and Young Men Guild marched into the finals of the Annual League Basketball Championship conducted by the Hyderabad District Basketball Association.
After 33 playing days and 98 matches at three different levels by 44 club teams, four — Loyola Academy, Sanathnagar Playground, BPHC and Young Men Guild — have qualified for the Clubs Super League Finals in which they will play each other for the Club Championship.
All four matches were well contested with BPHC and Young Men Guild causing upsetting victories over Eagles and YMCA Secunderabad respectively. Loyola Academy won over Airborne after a good fight in the second half, whereas Sanathnagar Playground were awarded the match by default as Victory Playground did not play.
BPHC and Eagles were nip and tuck for most part of the match. Shantanu and Lokesh combined well to score for BPHC, whereas Avnesh and Abhishek chipped in with baskets at regular intervals. Eagles led 15-14 at the end of the first quarter, however BPHC led 27-26 at half time. After change of ends BPHC shifted gears and played a fast paced game to score quickly through Yash and Sachin. With just one minute left for the third quarter, aided by Sachin’s 7 consecutive points and a 3-pointer from Yash, BPHC led at 50-41 at end of the penultimate quarter.
In the fiercely contested fourth quarter Eagles tried hard to make a comeback, however tight defence from BPHC did not allow them easy points with Yash, Shantanu and Sachin controlling the ball well. Aman’s three 3-pointers at the fag end of the game could not save Eagles as BPHC won the match 81-73.
YMG trounced tournament favourites and hosts YMCA Secunderabad 71-66. Both teams started slow as the first point was scored in the third minute of the game. The teams were locked 12-12 at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter went neck and neck with Ashu and Varma playing well for YMCA, whereas Pranav and Anurag combined well for YMG as YMCA led 32-27 at half-time. After change of ends Allen and Samuel combined well and consolidated the lead to 53-46 at end of third quarter. Within the first minute of the fourth quarter Kunal and Pruthvi scored a 3-pointer a piece to bridge the lead to just one point 52-53. With 3 minutes 48 seconds left for the match to end Pruthvi scored through a drive-in and converted a free throw to level the scores 61-61.
Pruthvi, who maintained a low profile in three quarters scoring just six points in the first half, burst out in the fourth quarter scoring a massive 17 points out of the 25 scored by YMG as YMCA were just unable to stop him. YMG won 71-66.