Delhi Capitals lifted the UBA Pro Basketball Season 2 title after a massive 92-65 win over last year's champions Chennai Slam in Game 3 of the best-of-three series. Delhi had lost Game 1 before coming back strongly to win the remaining two games and clinch the title.
Captain Sachin Sharma was an influential presence in the backcourt on Sunday while also finishing off some great drives to increase the scoreline. Cammy Carmel tried hard for Chennai but to no avail on a night that belonged to Delhi.
“We played well today. After losing the first match, we did some analysis of their strategy and we managed to give a great performance, a good team game to win the title,” said Sachin after the match.
Delhi began by picking up from where they left off in Game 2 and it was in quite some style. Triple machine Ajay Pratap sank one from outside the perimeter to start things off before point guard Sachin, center Ramesh and forward Smithin all joined the party for Delhi.
The scoreline read 9-0 before Chennai could muster a response. The Capitals' defense was on point as they marked their rivals impeccably, not allowing the likes of Agu to make his mark. They won almost every defensive rebound while also drawing fouls at the other end. MVP Vinay Kaushik shined as usual, picking up points with his high energy play.
It was then, with the score at 15-2, that the Arjun Show kicked off. The youngster had impressed for Chennai in the earlier games, and now he continued with that kind of form. He led the Slam with 7 points as they came back into the game superbly to end the quarter trailing 18-21.
The second quarter witnessed a breathless battle as both teams matched each other with attack after attack. Ajay Pratap once again sank a Steph Curry-esque triple while big center Ramesh was on fire for Delhi with a massive performance under the basket, getting rebounds and racking up points with ease.
Cammy and Arjun kept up the chase for Chennai while Longji came off the bench to down a crucial basket to break the momentum. At the timeout with 04:35 remaining, Delhi led 33-27.
But after the timeout, Delhi changed gears and Ramesh increased the lead further with four consecutive free throws after the timeout and Chennai seemed to go into a slump once again. Even with Agu coming back on to combine well with Cammy, Delhi was too strong and closed the quarter leading 45-31.
Delhi was just as brilliant after halftime, canceling out the impact of Gopal's efforts with the help of Smithin and Sachin. The duo combined to take Delhi to a big 54-35 lead, before the timeout at 05:56. Sachin in particular was the main man.
The skipper led by example, scoring 6 points and could even afford to miss free throws as Chennai failed to make a sound. Frustration reigned for the Slam as the Capitals ended the quarter in a 65-45 lead.
With a twenty point deficit, the game was almost decided before the final quarter. All Chennai could do was to try and make the score respectable, but even that was proving to be difficult. Cammy Carmel did come off with some credit after ending with a game high 22 points. But Gopal was the only other Chennai player to enter double digits as the Slam somehow lost their scoring prowess.
In the end, Delhi went on to post a massive 92-65 win that gave them their first UBA triumph. Skipper Sachin was named player of the match for his influential play. It would not be fair to talk just of Chennai's failures as Delhi were simply too good on the other side.
They had a great tournament overall too, ending the league phase with a 6-1 record. They also came back from a 1-0 deficit in both the semifinal and finals series. While Vinay Kaushik was named MVP, it was a team effort just as much.
Telangana Sports Minister Padma Rao Goud gave away the winners' trophy to Delhi Capitals. As for Chennai Slam, they were awarded the runners' up trophy by former NBA champion Joe Courtney. The winners received INR 7 lakh as prize money while the runners up received INR 3 lakh.
The next edition of the UBA Pro Basketball League will be held in Pune between 8th July and 5th August 2016.
Delhi Capitals (Ajay Pratap Singh 21pts, Sachin Sharma 10pts, Vinay Kaushik 19pts 5asts) bt Chennai Slam (Cammy Carmel 22pts, Gopal Ram 18pts, Arjun GK 9pts) 92-65 (21-18, 24-13, 20-14, 27-20)Published 03 Apr 2016, 23:57 IST