Bhilwara, January 05, 2015 (Neel Kamal Sonu): In a game of two halves, Chhattisgarh’s 6 ft 9 inch centre Poonam Chaturvedi made it a no contest with her effortless scoring in the second half to carry Chhattisgarh women to a convincing 84-75 win over Delhi in women final of 65th Senior National Basketball Championship 2014-15 that concluded a short while ago in Bhilwara, Rajasthan. Delhi women made it to the finals after three years, but if today’s match is anything to go by, their wait for the national crown will continue for a while longer.
Delhi’s opponents Chhattisgarh though underlined its position as the best women’s unit in the country. After beating heavy weights Railways in the semifinals last evening, Chhattisgarh appeared slightly lacking in energy in the first half. They were over reliant on Poonam Chaturvedi on both ends of the floor and slow to assist her when it came to boxing out and rebounding. As a result, Delhi surprisingly got multiple second chance opportunities which allowed it to lead 22-19 at the end of the first quarter.
The second half though belonged to Poonam Chaturvedi. Delhi had committed multiple team fouls trying to defend her in the first twenty minutes of play, as a result of which they had to ease off in the third quarter. Chaturvedi was unstoppable around the basket, catching the ball high over the Delhi players and finishing with her characteristic poise for her mammoth 48 points.
It is interesting to note that Chhattisgarh was missing the services of veteran Bharti Netam (in the Railways team), Kavita (injured) and Seema Singh who were an integral part of the side in last year’s maiden Championship run. But credit to Coach Rajesh Patel’s system of churning out numerous match ready players, that they were not missed one bit.
Points - Chhattisgarh (Poonam Chaturvedi 48 pts and 12 rbs, Sharanjeet Kaur 18) bt Delhi (Madhu Kumari 15, Pratima Singh 15, Akanksha Singh 13) 84-75 [19-22, 21-16, 26-11, 18-26].