Basketball and India

70th Senior National Basketball Championship, Ludhiana: Punjab men repeat as champs, Indian Railways 3-peat in women's category

Over the last week (Dec. 21-28), the 70th Senior National Basketball Championship was conducted at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana, Punjab.

A total of 53 teams - 29 men and 24 women - competed in this edition of the most prestigious basketball tournament in the country.

Men's category

Punjab, the defending champions, repeated this year.

They went undefeated in the group stage (Group A), defeating all of their league opponents - Karanataka (106-66), Delhi (84-63), Haryana (63-37), and Uttarakhand (73-25).

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In the semifinals, they defeated Uttarakhand 79-67 to move on to the finals where they up against Tamil Nadu. In the final, they successfull defended their crown by beating Tamil Nadu 93-75.

Their team included players like Amjyo Singh and Amritpal Singh, both of whom have played in professional leagues abroad. Ashpreet Bhullar, a regular member of the national team, was also on this championship-winning Punjab squad.

Bhullar was named tournament MVP in the men's category.

Women's category

In the women's category, the Indian Railways dominated once again, 3-peating as national champs.

Pooled in Group A along with Telangana, Delhi, Maharashtra, and Chhattisgarh, they went 3-1 in the group stage. Here's a look at their group stage results:

Team Score Team
Indian Railways 82-34 Delhi
Indian Railways 93-33 Chhattisgarh
Indian Railways 100-55 Telangana
Indian Railways 14-51 Maharashtra

In the semifinals, they cruised past Madhya Pradesh 106-37 and then went on to 3-peat by defeating Kerala in a competitive final 68-55.

Their squad comprises of one of the national team's best scorers in Shireen Limaye and 7-foot center Poonam Chaturvedi.

Kerala's Jeena Skaria was named the tournament MVP for the women's category.

For full results of the league stage, click here.

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