By Siddarth Sharma, UBA Columnist
Goa, 15th March, 2017:Mumbai Challengers capped off a dominant season by emerging as the champions of UBA Season 4 by eliminating Bengaluru Beast in the second gameof the championship series finals with a 118-105 win.Mumbai arrived at the finals after finishing the league stages with a league-best 5-1 record and sweeping Punjab Steelers in semi-finals series.The best of three finals series was decided in two games as Mumbai swept Bengaluru behind their fiery firepower.
The UBA Season 4 championship series is being played at the Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium in Goa from 10-16 March, 2017. The best players in the league will participate in the very first UBA All-Star game on 16th March at 7:00 PM as the top players from North Division take on the best from South Division.
Bengaluru started with a lineup of Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, Palpreet Brar, Raghuram, Pratham Singh and Visu Palani. They faced Mumbai’s starting lineup of Jagdeep Bains, Alex Scales, Inderbir Gill, Nikhil and Jimmy Scroggins.
Solomon was 1 of 10 from three point range in the first game, and he started the second game by taking the ball inside with a sense of purpose for high percentage looks. Mumbai led 17-11 halfway into the first quarter and pushed it to 25-13 in a couple of minutes behind consecutive threes from Scales. Mumbai led Bengaluru 30-23 at the end of the first quarter. Mumbai were led by 10 points from Inderbir. The supporting cast stepped up for Bengaluru in the first as Visu led them with 8 points.
Bengaluru came out strong in the second quarter as they charged into the paint hunting for good looks up close. Riding Palpreet’s inside presence, Bengaluru cut Mumbai’s lead to 39-33 forcing them to call a timeout after two minutes in the second quarter. Scales had a thunderous one-hand dunk to spark Mumbai into extending their lead to 50-38 about halfway into the second quarter. Bengaluru knew what was at stake and played like it by aggressively working hard for every point even though Mumbai maintained the lead as they were up 58-51 over Bengaluru at halftime. Mumbai had four players in double figures at halftime as Jagdeep, Alex, Inderbir and Jimmy combined for 56 points at halftime. Bengaluru had 14 turnovers off which Mumbai scored 17 points in the first half.
Inderbir started the second half by getting right to the line on multiple possessions as Mumbai kept Bengaluru at bay in the opening minutes. Scroggins picked up his fourth foul and headed to the bench as Bengaluru looked to make a run. Scales wasn’t to be denied as he continued his hot shooting from downtown. Bengaluru cut the lead to 76-68 halfway in the third quarter as they looked to force a third game in the series. Palpreet came alive in the third as he took it upon himself to score 17 points in the third quarter alone to keep Bengaluru alive. At the end of the third quarter, Mumbai led Bengaluru 90-81.
Scales heated up in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter as he pushed Mumbai’s lead to 100-83 with 7:40 left in the game. While Bengaluru battled valiantly to attempt to chip away at the lead, Mumbai’s firepower engulfed everything Bengaluru threw at them. They jumped out to a double digit lead in the fourth and maintained their lead as the clock wound down. Mumbai were able to hold on for a 118-105 win over Bengaluru Beast in the second game of UBA Championship finals series to emerge as champions.
Players of the Game:Inderbir Gill (International), Nikhil (Indian)
Mumbai Challengers (Alex Scales 34 pts, Inderbir Gill 33 pts, Jimmy Scroggins 21 pts) bt 118-105 Bengaluru Beast (Palpreet Brar33 pts, Vishesh Bhriguvanshi 24 pts, Chris Solomon 24 pts)