UBA Pro Basketball League: Pune Peshwas beat Hyderabad Sky 104-76
Pune Peshwas showed the UBA why they were the runners-up last term with an excellent display of offence plus defence in a game where they dominated a poor Hyderabad Sky side 104-76. With this result, Pune got their first win of the tournament after losing their first game against Bengaluru Beast.
Narender Grewal was the top scorer for the Peshwas with 37 points. Ajinkya Mane scored 18 and Siddhanth Shinde finished the game with 17 points.
For Hyderabad Sky, it was Mahesh Padmanabhan who excelled with 22 points and Joginder Singh together with Edwin scored 10 points each.
The game started rather slowly with missed chances on each end of the court. Pune’s star man Narender Grewal looked out of touch in the opening few exchanges after impressing in the previous game.
While the crowd was relentlessly cheering Pune, Hyderabad Sky got an unlikely cheer after Nigerian Edwin hit a running dunk which was set up for him rather poetically.
Pune took a quick 6 point lead with the score reading 17-11 with a minute left in the first quarter, but Hyderabad were quick to react scoring 5 straight points to put the pressure back on the home side.
Joginder Sharma was the main man in the Hyderabad team scoring 3 pointers at will. He was supported quite brilliantly by Mahesh who had scored 19 points in the previous game against Chennai Slam.
There was a point in the game when Shinde, who has become the crowd favourite scored a fantastic three to give Pune a 26-24 lead, but Hyderabad hit another three to take the lead.
The Sky lost concentration late in the first half, and last year’s finalists, Pune, had a healthy lead of 11 points at the end of halftime with the scoreboard reading 48-37.
Pune went from strength to strength as they consolidated their lead with Shinde, Garewal and now substitute Ajinkya Mehta also getting on the scoresheet. The Peshwas took a 15 point lead at 60-45 and Hyderabad were searching for answers against a resilient Pune defence.
Hyderabad were equally responsible for their own undoing with missed chances and unwanted shots aplenty. Pune were rising in confidence and it showed in the home side when Shinde was giving the crowd its money’s worth with cheeky back passes and fakes.
In the last few minutes, it was the Grewal show. He hit a fantastic three to take Pune to 94-70, and moments later, the crowd went absolutely nuts when he scored another three-pointer to take Pune to triple figures.
The match ended with a comprehensive victory for the Peshwas and left Hyderabad still searching for their first win of the league.
“I’m really happy for the victory and I think our team have finally arrived. We can beat any team in the tournament now” said an ecstatic Grewal as he spoke to Sportskeeda.
“I think in the first game the combination wasn’t right. Today, as you saw, the combination ticked, and it was reflected on the scoreboard” he finished.