UBA Pro Basketball: Delhi Capitals level finals series after beating Chennai Slam
Delhi Capitals battled to a 77-67 win over Chennai Slam in Game 2 of the finals series and kept their title hopes alive in the UBA Pro Basketball League 2016. Delhi raced onto an early lead and although Chennai tried to mount a comeback in the third quarter, the Capitals held on for the win. Telugu film star Naga Chaitanya was in attendance at a jam-packed Gachibowli Indoor Stadium.
Season 2 MVP Vinay Kaushik started off the scoring for Delhi with a jumper but that was all Chennai needed to give their response. Point guard Agu put up five quick points on the board to give his Chennai side a 7-2 lead at the first timeout at 06:33.
After the timeout however, Delhi regained their composure and led by big center Ramesh, they turned the tables, surging to a 20-10 lead at the end of the first quarter. Sunil and Vinay Kaushik both sank triples, with the latter's effort a magnificent one from just after the halfway line.
In the second quarter, the Capitals picked up from where they left off and put themselves further in front. Ajay Pratap was especially brilliant for them, starting with a triple before going in with a beautiful drive and scoring to make it 30-16. Smithin Settu and captain Sachin Sharma also contributed with a couple of baskets each.
For Chennai, Agu, Arjun and Ashutosh tried hard to reduce the deficit but Delhi had done enough to get a 41-28 lead at halftime.
Chennai began the third quarter with veteran Gopal Ram back on court; they had missed him badly with the scoreboard showing it. And he went on to be a lucky charm as the momentum swung back in Chennai's favour early on, with Arjun's accurate triple the pick of the scoring.
Delhi then proceeded to break the momentum with a series of free throws as Chennai seemed to lose their focus defensively.
However, the Slam got back to their best, attacking with blistering pace and accuracy to finally tie the scores with 1 minute remaining in the quarter (50-50). But Smithin and Ramesh pulled Delhi ahead at the end of the quarter (53-50).
At the beginning of the final quarter, Arjun continued his impressive outing with a triple from the side. A reinvigorated Delhi side, however, got back into the lead with Ajay Pratap sinking his third and fourth triples. A breathless end-to-end battle ensued with a great Agu-Cammy combination and Arjun's brilliance keeping Chennai in the chase. But Delhi was calm enough to keep the lead intact, with Sunil doing well off the bench. Ramesh kept dashing Chennai's hopes by winning numerous defensive rebounds.
Ramesh went on to be named as Player of the Match after scoring four easy points in the final seconds as Delhi held on to confirm a 77-67 win.
The finals series is now tied 1-1 and the teams now go into the winner-takes-all Game 3 on Sunday.
Delhi Capitals (Ramesh 17pts 16rbs, Vinay Kaushik 17pts, Ajay Pratap Singh 13pts) bt Chennai Slam (Arjun GK 21pts, Chukwunanu Agu 17pts 7asts, Cammy Carmel 13pts) 77-67 (20-10, 21-18, 12-22, 24-17)