By Siddarth Sharma, UBA Columnist
Chennai, 23rd February 2017: The Mumbai Challengers have firmly established themselves as an offensive juggernaut in the UBA Season 4. They have been averaging well over 120 points per game coming into this contest and they continued that trend by defeating the Delhi Capitals 129-106.
The teams exchanged quick buckets to start off the game. Inderbir Gill of Mumbai executed a perfect up and under move for two and Amjyot Singh of Delhi responded with a three. Inderbir ran out in the open court for a quick two and teammate Alex Scales was quick to add two more to the tally as Mumbai raced out to a 13-5 lead in the first three minutes. Delhi had to call a timeout after Jimmy Scroggins added two more. The break didn't staunch the flow of buckets as Jagdeep Singh came out with a three pointer and Nikhil added two in the open court. Delhi responded with three buckets up close from Ronald March. Scroggins hit a three and Amjyot responded with three of his own to bring the score to 28-18 in favour of Mumbai. The end of the first quarter saw Mumbai leading the Delhi Capitals 37-24.
Mumbai started the second quarter riding on Alex Scales as he stole the ball twice and hit a couple of threes to give Mumbai a 23 point lead as they led Delhi 47-24 just a minute and 14 seconds in the second quarter. Prasanna Venkatesh added two right back in the open court. Ronald March responded with a three pointer and added three more on an and-one play. But Mumbai had an incredible first half as they led the Delhi Capitals 75-47 at halftime.
Before the game, Mumbai coach Jora Singh Gulia spoke about his team’s loss to Punjab, saying “It's clear no lead is safe and we had a few offensive fouls and turnovers which we'll try to avoid this time around.” Delhi Capitals’ coach Sebastian spoke of facing a 28 point deficit at halftime, saying “Only remedy is playing good defence. Teams can have an off day on offense, but the defensive effort needs to be consistent.”
The third quarter saw Mumbai pick up where they left off as they built up an 83-51 lead and threatened to run away with it. Delhi tried to counter with Amjyot Singh willing himself to the basket time and again, but Mumbai had plenty of answers as they managed to keep a comfortable lead throughout the quarter. At the end of the third quarter, Mumbai Challengers led the Delhi Capitals 99-76.
Ronald March led a superhuman effort for the Delhi Capitals as he led them to within 101-87 with 7 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Amjyot Singh added more than his fair share as the duo fought to keep their team in the game. But there are few options for any team when Inderbir, Scroggins and Scales run the break with Jagdeep trailing. Mumbai rallied behind them and pulled away for the win. Ronald March had a monster game as he nearly had a triple double with 62 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. He also broke the UBA single game scoring record which stood at 51, as he put up a valiant effort in a tough loss.
Players of the Game: Alex Scales (International), Jagdeep Singh (Indian)
Mumbai Challengers (Alex Scales 45 pts, Jimmy Scroggins 19 pts, Inderbir Gill 17 pts) bt Delhi Capitals 129-106 (Ronald March 62 pts, Amjyot Singh 27 pts, Vinay Kaushik 4 pts)