UBA Pro Basketball League: Chennai Slam retain the throne, crowned champions
In a low scoring total, Chennai Slam beat Punjab Steelers 69-59 in best of three finals of the UBA Pro Basketball League Season 3 at the Balewadi Sports Complex on Sunday. Chennai won the championship by taking a 2-1 lead in the best of three finals. Having lost only two games in the League, the Chennai Slam kept their calm all through the tournament and swiftly won the title for the second time. They had won the championship in 2015 while in the second season Chennai emerged as runners up.
Cammy Carmel (17pts) set the base right for Chennai having scored more of points in the first quarter itself. Punjab meanwhile banked on Chennai’s fouls. It was just Harmandeep Singh, who picked up the pace for Punjab. Chennai started attacking since the beginning giving hardly any chance for Punjab to level or lead. At the end of first quarter, Chennai was just leading by a point (19-18).
In the second quarter, Ashutosh Rai joined the army as he scored some important for Chennai. Passing seemed to an issue for Punjab and they could hardly match Chennai’s defense. In the later session, Punjab tried to make up to Chennai’s total, but it just couldn’t happen. Punjab missed some important which costed them their game.
Bryan (13 points) and Rajveer Singh (12 points) attacked for Punjab but their defense looked a little sloppy. Although Jairam (2pts) and Ashutosh entered the final with an injury, it did not hamper their will to lead their team to championship.
For the first time in three seasons, Prasanna Jayshankar created history as she become the first woman to lead a team towards championship. She heaved a sigh of relief as the buzzer went off.
“It has been a great tournament. We did not expect to lose yesterday. But in a game that happens. We did not lose hope. In the end our team won,” said an elated coach. Also, this was one of the lowest scoring total. Prasanna feels it was the tight schedule that made the boys weary. “They have been playing back to back matches they are bound to get tired,” she added.
A calm and composed Cammy was sure that Chennai would reach the final. While talking to Sportskeeda, the man of the match said, “We play basketball because it makes us happy. If you are sure about the end result some minor glitches does not matter.”
Although, Punjab did not win the title, the one thing that they won was the crowd’s heart. Known for being the youngest team in the tournament, Punjab proved their worth by giving a tough fight to one of the best team in the League. “The crowd’s support motivated us. They boys tried hitting some shots which did not encash. That in turn hampered their confidence. We tried to level in the later quarters but it did not work out,” said Gurkipal Singh, Punjab coach.
Result: Chennai Slam (Agu 15pts, Cammy 17pts, Ashutosh Rai 17pts) bt Punjab Steelers (Ryan 13pts, Rajveer Singh 13pts) (19-18, 34-26, 50-40, 69-59)