Published On: Mon, Jul 18th, 2016

Pune Peshwas get the best of Mumbai Challengers

puneePune: Pune Peshwas became the first team to record a three figure score this season, in the UBA Pro Basketball League on their way to a 101-97 win over rivals, the Mumbai Challengers who fell agonizingly short on Monday afternoon.

Narendar Grewal scored 36 points for the second game in a row for Pune, and was well supported by Player of the Game Siddhanth Shinde, who scored 28. It was the first win of the season for the hosts, having lost to Chennai in their opener. The Mumbai Challengers have now lost two of two, having lost to Haryana Gold previously.

Mumbai were the better team in the first quarter, but not by much. Dildar Singh and Gagandeep Singh made some excellent moves to run through the Pune defense time and again. Dildar’s pace on the floor and Gagandeep’s superior physical ability was something Pune struggled with through the first two quarters.

With a home court advantage, the Pune Peshwas used the Mehta brothers – Ajinkya and Arjun heavily on defense, as both ended up with a combined seven fouls between them by the end of first half while trying to stop Gagandeep and Dildar from scoring.

Pune picked up some momentum through Siddhanth Shinde and Ajinkya Mane’s quick moves and it was just a matter of time before Narendar Grewal came into his own. Narendar scored 16 points in the second quarter for the hosts, as Pune converted an 23-26 first quarter deficit into 55-52 lead at half-time.

The trio of Mane, Shinde and Grewal, along with Gaurav Ohlan, increased the speed on the floor, rattling the Mumbai defense. The Challengers struck through Gagandeep to ensure that the Peshwas weren’t able to open a big lead. Gagandeep capitalized on the Mehta brothers’ absence for the major part of the second quarter.

Pune eventually lost Arjun Mehta in the third quarter, just like Mumbai had lost Prudhvi in the second quarter. This opened the doors for Karna Mehta who scored eight points in quick time, including two free throw conversions, to help Pune open up a sizeable lead. It was a superb turn of events for the Pune thereafter with Narendar Grewal scoring a brilliant three-pointer just before the buzzer to increase Pune’s lead to 80-72 going into the final quarter.

The Peshwas then made sure they didn’t allow the Mumbai Challengers to comeback. Shinde and Narendar kept making smart runs through the opposition defense, and soon Pune put 13 points on the board. Every time Mumbai found the basket, the hosts responded with a field goal of their own. Mumbai threatened to cut Pune’s lead through a couple of superb three-pointers from Ranbir Singh, and another one from Jagdeep Bains. Pune struck back with Shinde scoring a three-pointer, and V Das scoring of a free throw, helping the hosts maintain the distance only to win 101 – 97.

Pune Peshwas 101 (Narender Garewal 36, Siddhanth Shinde 28, Gaurav Ohlan 12) & Mumbai Challengers 97 (Jagdep Bains 20, Gagandeep Singh 20, Dildar 20)

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