UBA: Mumbai Challengers run over a poor Haryana Gold side 114-78
Mumbai Challengers defeated Haryana Gold after a slump in their last game, winning the game 114-78. The Challengers played an offensively neat game and after a slow start consolidated, winning the game easily in the end. Haryana gave up towards the fourth quarter and looked clueless against a far superior Mumbai outfit.
With this loss, Haryana remain winless as Phase – 1 of the league ends for the Shiba Maggon coached team. Mumbai pick up their third win of the league and increasingly look like one of the teams that will make the play-offs.
Ranbir top scored for Mumbai with 29 points and Prudhvi Reddy finished with 21. Himanshu, who mesmerized the crowd with his dribbling and quick play, top scored for the Gold with 23.
The UBA is witnessing a lot of upsets with Chennai Slam, Bengaluru Beast and even the mighty Delhi Capitals losing. Haryana Gold who haven’t won a single game were looking to be the next to cause an upset against a strong Mumbai Challengers, but they played poorly offensively and defensively.
The story of the first half can be summed up by the two point guards from either team; Himanshu Sharma for the Gold and Prudhvi Reddy for the Challengers. Coincidently, both were wearing the No. 17 shirt. While Himanshu was playing in his first game, Prudhvi has come into the Mumbai team after missing out the last two.
Prudhvi stole the show in the opening exchanges of the first quarter with a couple of quick layups and excellent transition play. Together with Ranbir Singh, Prudhvi finished with 12 points in the first half. The game was end to end and it was only towards the end of the first quarter that Mumbai had a rare 4-point lead (24-20).
As the half progressed, it was Himanshu who came out the winner in the battle of the point guards. He took layups, gave pin point passes and made a mockery of the Mumbai defence. He was calling the shots for the Haryana Gold as they crawled back into the match levelling the game at 35-35 with four minutes left in the half. He scored an incredible 17 points in the first half and helped giving a bit of confidence to a tense looking Haryana bench.
Jagdeep Bains of Mumbai was at fault for slowing Mumbai’s game, but he started shooting jumpers as Mumbai took a quick 7-point lead by the end of the second quarter with the score reading 48-41.
Prudhvi made sure Mumbai consolidated further with two quick layups in the third quarter to take Mumbai’s lead to 11 points. His fourth foul early on meant he had to sit on the sidelines, but as the game progressed Mumbai had a healthy lead of 65-49 with five minutes left in the third quarter.
Haryana’s coach Shiba Maggon was seen complaining at the officials for the fouls not given against them, but the Gold had themselves to blame for letting Mumbai slip away with the game. Haryana’s confidence was hit and Deepak Rathee, who missed from close range with absolutely no one marking him, showed exactly how the morale of the team was. By the end of the third quarter Mumbai were running away with 82-61 on the score board.
The story of the fourth quarter was simple – Haryana gave up and Mumbai were shooting as if it was a practice match. Haryana had no answer to Mumbai’s offensive play, scoring just 17 points to Mumbai’s 32. The game finished 114-78 and with this both teams head to Hyderabad for Phase 2.