The ultra-competitive south division is all set for a photo finish later this evening, as all four teams fight for a direct entry into the semifinals. The defending champions Chennai Slam are sitting pretty, but only just, with four wins and two losses. Not far behind and locked up at three wins and three losses each are Bengaluru Beast, last year’s runners up Pune Peshwas and hosts Hyderabad Sky.
Today is the final day for South Division league round matches, and the Chennai Slam take on Pune Peshwas at 4:30 pm followed by a resurgent Hyderabad Sky battling Bengaluru Beast. If Chennai win today, they are automatically through to the semifinals as the top placed team from the South division. The other three teams then will fight it out for a spot in the playoffs— a one off knockout match for the second spot in the semifinals— featuring the 2nd and 3rd place teams from the division.
Here are the possible scenarios:
- If both Pune and Bengaluru win today, then Hyderabad Sky is knocked out of the competition.
- If Chennai and Bengaluru win, then most likely Hyderabad Sky will be knocked out of the competition, as Pune (+35) has a much better point differential than Sky (-52).
- If Chennai and Hyderabad Sky win, then either most likely Bengaluru Beast will be knocked out of the competition, as Pune (+35) has a much better point differential than Beast (-4).
- If Pune and Hyderabad win, then Bengaluru Beast will be knocked out, as it would be the only South team with 3 wins.
But beyond all these numbers, the simple arithmetic is this: win today, and you are assured of continuing in this competition. Lose and you are out (unless you are Chennai!).
It seems poetic that even after 6 league games, it comes down to the final set of league matches to separate the south teams. With the UBA Pro Basketball League, expect the unexpected.
Who will qualify? Tune into Ten Action/HD this evening from 4:30 pm onwards to find out.