UBA Pro Basketball: Delhi Capitals level semifinal series after 72-61 win over Mumbai Challengers
The Delhi Capitals kept their UBA Pro Basketball League title hopes alive after a 72-61 win over the Mumbai Challengers in Game 2 of the best-of-three semifinal series being played at Hyderabad. While Mumbai led for most of the game, Vinay Kaushik inspired Delhi to an unbelievable comeback in the final quarter.
Mumbai raced to a lead early on with Nikhil and Gagandeep hitting two free throws each before the midway point. Meanwhile, Smithin Settu was the lone scorer for Delhi, scoring 5 points in what was a rather low scoring first quarter.
That was until Delhi's Satyajeet picked up the ball in a turnover and went on a quick counter before sinking a layup. Capitals’ skipper and point guard Sachin then turned on the heat with four points late on, giving Delhi the lead for the first time. But Mumbai ended the quarter on top again (12-11) thanks to a Prudhwi jumper.
The second quarter began with Mumbai guard Dildar Singh putting on a show for the spectators with two triples in the first couple of minutes. Sunil came off the bench for Delhi to hit a couple of baskets while Vinay Kaushik also helped the Capitals stay right behind the Challengers.
On the other side, Gagandeep Singh contributed with 6 points for Mumbai. Although Delhi's Ajay Pratap came up with five points, including a triple, it was Mumbai who kept their lead going into halftime, with the scoreline reading 28-26.
Right after halftime, it was still Mumbai who held the upper hand. Big man Gagandeep not only kept up his scoring spree but he was a thorn in the Delhi side wherever he was on the court, winning defensive rebounds too. He was ably assisted by Nikhil who scored four points in the quarter.
Game one’s star Jagdeep Bains did not have a lot of game time today but he made every second of his cameos count, scoring four points. For Delhi, Aditya Raj and Yudhvir Singh led with 5 and 4 points respectively. Mumbai finished the quarter leading 48-42.
Delhi began the final quarter going all out on the offensive, knowing that they need a win to stay alive in the competition. While they still had to deal with the menace of Gagandeep, Delhi managed to play better than they had done all game.
Vinay Kaushik was particularly brilliant as he led the charge, picking up a game changing 15 points in the quarter. Sunil, who once again came off the bench, hit a great three-pointer before Smithin finally gave Delhi the lead (54-55) with four minutes to go.
The Delhi blitzkrieg stunned Mumbai into submission and the Challengers seemed to have lost their fuel. It was Vinay Kaushik's show as he powered Delhi to a 72-61 victory with 21 points and 5 assists, keeping their title hopes alive.
Delhi Capitals (Vinay Kaushik 21 pts 5 as, Smithin Settu 11 pts 12 rbs, Satyajeet 8 pts) bt Mumbai Challengers (Gagandeep Singh 22 pts, Dildar Singh 11 pts) 72-61 (11-12, 15-16, 16-20, 30-13)