UBA Pro Basketball: Pune Peshwas beat Chennai Slam 79-75
Last quarter blitz by Pune Peshwas saw them pull out a thriller, sending shocking waves in the defending champions Chennai Slam’s camp with a four-point victory, on the 8th day of the second UBA Professional Basketball League, at the Balewadi sports complex, on Friday.
Chennai, who were meeting Pune for the first time in this edition enjoyed a slender lead of two points after the first two quarters of the game, but the Vivek (Nandu) Mehta-coached side regrouped after the break to give the Chennai side a taste of Pune cagers’ way of playing the game.
Pune turned the tables on the Champions, Chennai, taking a two-point lead at the start of the third quarter, and that boosted their morale as it was for the first time in the last three matches, that they enjoyed such privilege.
The teams were tied seven times in the last two sessions giving a clear indication that a thrilling finish was on cards, and in the process gave the home crowd all the reasons to cheer about.
Pune maintained their two-point lead when they took to the court for the last time. This session saw the teams tied six times before Siddhant Shinde found the basket off a free throw with 20 seconds to the final whistle.
With their star player Narender Grewal signing off this phase of the league due to his wedding, the starting line of Ajinkya Mane, Arjun Mehta, Gaurav Ohlan, Siddhant Shinde and Edwin Irwin played a stellar role for the hosts.
On the other hand, Ravi, the Chennai coach had his chosen five, with Nigerian Chukwunanu Agu in the Cammy Carmel in the backcourt.
But Pune had the last laugh bringing down the high-flying holders, Chennai, who faced their first defeat in this edition of the championship.
Chennai had made an easy meal of their previous rivals in the league, but is was not to happen in the fourth match.
However, there were opinions amongst the Chennai supporters that the poor officiating let them down.
Coach Ravi set aside all that and said that playing games without breaks saw his boys go down.
“They are playing for the last three days and that could be the reason,” said Ravi. Still, Chennai lead the points table with three wins.