In a one-sided match, Chennai Slam swiftly entered their third final of the UBA Pro Basketball League Season 3 at the Balewadi Sports Complex, Badminton Court in Pune on Tuesday. Chennai Slam easily overcame home team Pune Peshwas 97-79 in the second semi-final. On Monday evening, Chennai Slam defeated hometown favourites, Pune Peshwas 98-91 in a best of three semi-final game of the South Division.
Chennai Slam have always been the underdogs in the league. They silently stamped their authority with shooters like Agu, Ram Kumar and Jairam who stole the show in the first half. The ex-champions Chennai picked up where they left from on Monday evening. They got a good start and attacked right since the beginning. Crowd favourite Narendra Gerwal was back in action for Pune, after he missed the first semi-final due to right knee injury.
A consistent lead of more than 20 points in the later quarter is what made the difference for Chennai as Pune just looked chances to level. Jairam (28pts), Agu (19pts) and Ashutosh Rai (19pts) lead the dominance for Chennai.
In the first quarter, Pune looked strong as Narendra and Siddhanth Shinde gave the home team a perfect start. But Chennai’s shooters were at the right place to negate Pune’s hard work.
The second session was totally dominated by Jairam and Ashutosh, who did most of the impairment to the home team. Jairam’s three - three-pointers gave Chennai the upper hand. Once Chennai were leading by more than 10 points right after the beginning of first quarter, it was no looking back for them. Agu, too joined the army as Chennai were leading by a mammoth 21 points (51-30) at half time.
Once Chennai had a solid lead of more than 20 points, it was a cake walk for them. In the third session, Narendra (25pts) did his best led his team, but his hard work was futile. Pune’s shooter Abhishek (20pts) too scored some important points but that really did not make in difference for Chennai, whose sight were set on the title.
As per Chennai coach Prasanna Jayshankar they had a special strategy which they plotted to stop the attacking duo of Narendra and Siddhanth. Sportskeeda caught up with the winning coach after the match.
An elated Prasanna said, “Our plan worked out. We had to stop Narendra and Siddhanth. The boys did quite well.” He feels Punjab is a very strong and as they looked quite motivated beating a strong team like Haryana Gold.
The coach was sure that their shooter Agu is yet to give his best. “Agu, no doubt has been consistent but he needs to give his 100 per cent,” added Prasanna.
Chennai Slam will take on Punjab Steelers in a best of three finals on Friday. Punjab beat Haryana on Tuesday morning by 106-97.
Result: Chennai (Jairam 28pts, Agu 19pts Ashutosh 19pts) bt Pune Peshwas (Narendra 25pts, Siddhanth 16pts) (21-19, 51-30, 75-60, 97-79)