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UBA Pro Basketball League Season 3: Mumbai Challengers beat Punjab Steelers for first win

Joe Williams
666   //    20 Jul 2016, 16:50 IST
Mumbai Challengers
Punjab were unable to get those crucial three points to tie the game

Mumbai Challengers pulled out a 96-93 scoreline against the Punjab Steelers in the UBA Pro Basketball League, at the Balewadi sports complex here on Wednesday.

Locked twice (66-66) and (89-89) in the 40 minutes, the teams dished out the best of the game, and the end Mumbai ran away with their first win with a 96-93 and in the process opened their account in this edition of the championship, after their defeat against Pune in the Maha Derby in their opener.

Blame it on the fouls as the Punjab’s coach summed up the encounter.”Garry Gill and Sagar Joshi the main casualties of the team, and with the best players off the court one cannot expect to win,” summed up the Punjab coach Gurkirpal Singh. The boys played well but the absence of the main strike force lets us down,” said the coach who was to regroup for the next encounter.

Punjab took the first quarter with a slender eight points lead, and it looked that they would pocket full points, but with things changed drastically as Mumbai bounced back in the next 10 minutes to take the honours with a nine-point lead half-way through the game.

Ranbir Singh was in the thick of action and his rebound collections and reflexes made things easy for the boys from Mumbai. “He did play but I would say that it was the teamwork which played the major role in the victory,” said Jora Singh, the Mumbai coach after the match.

It was in the third and the fourth quarters which saw the scoreline change sides, and Mumbai held a slight edge over their rivals. They led by just one point with the last ten minutes of the game left. And things went haywire with the Mumbai cagers losing the track and Punjab taking an upper hand. Nine points in the first three minutes saw Punjab leading 84-75

It was the last ten minutes which saw a close encounter of the first kind inb this professional league.

Punjab were riding high 84-75 advantage, but Gagandeep Singh along with Bains Jagdeep turned the table against Punjab. And after being 89-89 with three minutes to go, Mumbai finally got the all important two points to take the 96-93 verdict.

Nothing is over and it is just two matches and we have along way to go in this championship,” signed off the Punjab coach on a positive note.

Both the sides were unwilling to flinch in the final quarter and it made for some fascinating viewing with some end to end action. But Punjab's Sagar scored some crucial points to get his team ahead.

But a late surge by the Mumbai Challengers's, especially Jagdeep, saw them prevail over the Punjab Steelers in the end. 

Final score: Mumbai Challengers 96-93 Punjab Steelers   

Mumbai Challengers 96 (Jagdeep 27 pts, Gagandeep 21 pts, Ranbir 16 pts) & Punjab Steelers 93 (Sagar 15 pts, Garry 14 pts, Akhilesh 13 pts)  

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