UBA Pro Basketball League Season 3: Pune Peshwas enter semis in style, beat Hyderabad Sky 101-94
In the most exciting and thrilling match, the Pune Peshwas defeated Hyderabad Sky 101-94 in the UBA Pro Basketball League Season-3 at the Balewadi Sports Complex, Badminton Court here on Sunday. The Pune outfit will now take on Chennai Slams in the second semi-finals.
Back from a consecutive loss, Hyderabad Sky looked quite firm and crisp in their moves. Taking a good lead in the first quarter, Hyderabad hardly missed any chance to score. Although, it was a low scoring first session, Hyderabad banked on Mahesh Padmanabhan and Mahipal Singh. While Pune were looking to equalize, they looked quite redundant. In the first quarter, Hyderabad led Pune 22-15.
However, in the second quarter, it was a total different Pune side. Courtesy Narendra Grewal, the Pune outfit quickly covered the gap. Quickly bridging the gap, Gerwal with a total of 18 points just before halftime put Pune in the driver’s seat with the hosts leading 45-42. Hyderabad’s total looked like a team effort as Mahesh and Mahipal both chipped in. While the Pune team was banking on Gerwal.
Pune created somewhere more than 10 fouls which Hyderabad took advantage of, who scored the most of the free throws. Edwin Irwin, who suffered head injured in the earlier matches was quite upbeat the third quarter. Edwin covered some important blocks for Pune which why the home team could still maintain a lead of five points (73-68) at the end of third quarter.
Teaming up with Siddhanth Shinde, Ajinkiya Mane stepped up to boost Pune’s confidence. For Hyderabad, Mahesh was the most consistent player. Hyderabad looked in to close the gap but it was nearly impossible.
In the last session, Pune looked a closed knit team who hardly made any fouls. Although, Hyderabad’s Mahesh, who scored 34 points which was a career high for him, it did not help his team qualify for the semi-finals. The Pune outfit knew they had to just defend their total and not give Hyderabad a single chance to score.
The Peshwas not only defended brilliantly but their shooters juggled graciously through the Hyderabad’s defense. Edwin left no stone unturned to stop Hyderabad’s shot.
An elated Ram Kumar was all praises for Siddhanth, the man of the match for his overall performance and 22 points. “He’s a true fighter. He was playing even though he had high ever. His love for game is immense.”
Talking about the game, the Pune coach said, “The game was good. We made a couple of mistakes in the first session, rest all of the quarters we did our best. Hyderabad has some good shooter but our team outwit them.”
The Pune outfit will be facing Chennai in the semi-final. Kumar refused to pick a favourite by saying, “Both the teams are equal now. May be best team win.”
Result: Pune Peshwas (Ajinkiya Mane 24pts, Narendra Grewal 26pts) bt Hyderabad Sky (Mahesh 34pts, Mahipal 20pts) (15-22, 45-42, 73-68, 101-94)