UBA Pro Basketball League Day 11: Pune Peshwas crush Haryana Gold 103-81
Pune Peshwas came home victorious against the Haryana Gold winning the game 103-81 at the Sri Chatrapathi Shivaji stadium on Sunday. With this win Pune take their record to 3-2 as Haryana remain winless as Phase-1 of the UBA ends.
It was one of those games which had a vociferous home crowd cheering every move Pune had to offer. With Himesh Reshamiya and Neil Nitin Mukesh in presence, the sound in the stadium could beat any cricket match. Loud was an understatement.
Pune were missing their star man Narender Grewal but Shinde and co made sure the India team player was not needed. Gaurav Ohlan scored an incredible 33 points for the Peshwas and crowd favourite Siddhanth Shinde scored 26. Himanshu Sharma hit 27 for the Gold and he was supported by Vikas Mor and Jaskaran with 19 and 17 points respectively.
A strong finish to Phase-1
“We just wanted to finish Phase-1 strong. We are gelling well even though we are missing one of our star players in Grewal. Now our focus is only on the second leg” said Shinde still holding that focus of his.
Haryana were coming into the game on a low after terribly losing to Mumbai Challengers in their last game, but looking at their bench and the morale of the team it looked like they had found new found belief in themselves. Pune who won their last against defending champions Chennai Slam, looked surprisingly tensed and out of focus early on.
Himanshu did not start the game after coach Shiba Maggon decided to keep the side that have been together for 15 days. It was Jaskaran from the Gold who was tantalizing the Pune defence with his strong presence in the paint; shooting put backs at will. The big man scored 15 points in the first half. While they were no runaway leaders in the first quarter, it was Haryana who looked like the positive team.
Pune’s star man Shinde was not at his best as he has been throughout the tournament, but it was substitute Parvesh R. who had a terrible night missing every basket he attempted. Gaurav was the focal point of Pune’s offence scoring 13 points and converting most of his shots effectively.
Himanshu was brought into the game and he introduced himself by a wonderful assist, faking most of Pune’s defence. Haryana consolidated and took a six-point lead by the end of the first quarter with the score reading 31-25.
Shinde was at fault for missing two free-throws and not shooting taking three-pointers when he had the chance. He also misplaced an easy pass and it looked like the pressure was getting to the home team. Pune however came back strongly and when the score read 40-33, with Haryana leading, Shinde and Gaurav got the home team to 40-40.
Gaurav first hit a jumper and got a foul, from which he converted the free throw. Shinde did the exact same, with a layup that got the crowd bouncing. The decibels levels went even higher when Pune took the lead and ended the first half with a 45-42 score line.
The story of the third quarter was much like Haryana’s last game. The Gold succumbed to increasing pressure from the Pune offense and gave away easy points, also missing baskets of their own. Shinde, Ajinkya Mehta and Gaurav were responsible to take Pune’s lead to 8 points by the end of the third quarter and the Peshwas slowly started showing quality.
Haryana, who haven’t won a single game so far, lacked character and their inexperienced side fell short of Pune’s quality play by a mile. Himanshu was the only shining star in Haryana’s sinking ship as he didn’t get any support from his teammates.
In the end Pune got stronger and Haryana crumbled to a much superior side. The Peshwas scored 33 points in the fourth quarter, while Haryana could only manage 19.The game ended 102-81 as Pune head into Phase-2 as one the favourites to reach the play-offs.
Phase-2 will be held in Hyderabad and it will start after a lengthy break on 23 March later this year.