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Walkovers mar Day One of MSSA basketball

It was a dull and boring day for basketball lovers at the Indian Gymkhana, Matunga yesterday as Day One of the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) boys' under-16 basketball knockout tournament was marred by walkovers. The day witnessed as many as four walkovers and one postponement out of the seven matches scheduled.

This was the scene from 10am to 3pm at the Indian Gymkhana in Matunga yesterday as officials waited for teams to arrive for their MSSA boys under-16 inter-school basketball matches. Pic/Suresh KK
This was the scene from 10am to 3pm at the Indian Gymkhana in Matunga yesterday as officials waited for teams to arrive for their MSSA boys under-16 inter-school basketball matches. Pic/Suresh KK 

Gopi Birla Memorial, (Walkeshwar), Aditya Birla (Tardeo), Bombay Scottish (Powai) and Don Bosco 'A' (Matunga) were all awarded walkovers as their opponents Billabong International (Malad), Rustomjee International (Dahisar), BD Somani (Cuffe Parade) and RBK International (Ghatkopar) respectively failed to turn up. A fifth encounter between Beacon High School (Khar) and St Gregorios (Chembur) was postponed after both teams gave valid reasons for not turning up for the fixture.

A coach, who did not wish to be named for fear that the MSSA may ban him, blamed lack of communication for this mess. "We were not informed about the schedule in advance. Rather than informing us about our matches, MSSA expects us to come and collect the fixtures from their office at Azad Maidan which is not always possible," he said.

MSSA basketball secretary Esmero Figueiredo however denied the allegation. "It was clearly written in the circular that the tournament will begin from Nov 17. The fixtures are in our office. It's a shame that schools haven't turned up. Matches were supposed to begin at 10am but it's almost five hours now and sitting here waiting for teams is irritating," he said.

In the two matches played, PG Garodia beat Oxford Public School (Kandivli) 65-13 and Campion (Cooperage) beat St Dominic Savio 45-5.

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