Bhilwara, January 05, 2015 (Neel Kamal Sonu): Back to full strength after missing centre Murali Krishna and star guard Vishesh Bhriguvanshi last year, Uttarakhand men displayed top class professionalism throughout the tournament to reclaim the national crown by beating defending champions Tamil Nadu in men final of 65th Senior National Basketball Championship 2014-15 that concluded a short while ago in Bhilwara, Rajasthan. Uttarakhand had last won the Senior Nationals two years ago at the 63rd Senior Nationals in Ludhiana, Punjab.
A supremely balanced outfit of past and current internationals, Uttarakhand was impeccable on both ends of the floor. Defensively, they out-rebounded Tamil Nadu 55 to 45, restricting them to just 28 points in the first two quarters combined. Offensively, they scored from all parts of the floor. Centre Amritpal Singh who has been hugely effective throughout the tournament, shined with 27 points and 14 rebounds. The moment Tamil Nadu started double teaming him in the post; Singh had the foresight to kick it out to his open teammates for the outside shot.
For Tamil Nadu, the match started off with their lynchpin and captain Amjyot Singh on the bench with an ankle injury. Even without Amjyot, Tamil Nadu had numerous relatively easy scoring opportunities which they missed. Backup centre Jeevanatham was the chief culprit missing easy jumpshots in the paint. With their post players rendered ineffective, the international guards of Tamil Nadu Pratham Singh, Akilan Pari and Pranna Venkatesh fought hard. In the second half, Amjyot Singh finally checked into the match and Tamil Nadu roared back within single digits of Uttarakhand. However in the last quarter every time Tamil Nadu made a run, Uttarakhand kept scoring mainly through Yadwinder Singh for the memorable 72-63 win.
Scores - Uttarakhand (Amritpal Singh 27 pts and 14 rbs, Yadwinder Singh 16, Vishesh Bhriguvanshi 13) bt Tamil Nadu (Pratham Singh 15, Amjyot Singh 11) 72-63 [22-12, 17-16, 10-15, 23-20].