*Match Report by Vishnu Ravi Shankar. Images by Anukriti Bishen, with inputs from Gopalakrishnan R.
- Delhi Capitals upstaged defending champions 92-65 in Game 3 of the Championship Series to be crowned champs.
- Season 3 dates announced, as 8 July to 5 August 2016 in Pune.
Hyderabad, 3rd April 2016: Delhi Capitals have been crowned champions of Season 2 of the United Basketball Alliance (UBA) Pro Basketball League that concluded a short while ago at the Gachibowli Stadium in the city. Capitals overcame defending champions Chennai Slam, 2-1, in the best of three Championship Series, beating them 92-65 in the final game to end as deserving winners.
Honourable Sports Minister of Telangana State Sri T Padma Rao Goud distributed the trophies and medals. Other dignitaries present included senior UBA officials, Todd Mack (MD), Tausif Shaikh (Director of Administration), Aseem Khan (Chairman, Intermedia Cable Communications) and Michael Yanke (Chief Marketing Officer).
As Season 2 winners, Delhi Capitals were awarded a cash prize of Rs 7,00,000/-. Runners up Chennai Slam received Rs 3,00,000/-. Capitals’ shooting guard Vinay Kaushik, who was named the Season’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) a couple of days ago, collected his Hyosung GT250R bike and trophy during the glittering prize distribution ceremony.
UBA’s Director of Broadcasting Mr Paul Crane also used the occasion to announce that Season 3 will be held from 8 July to 5 August 2016 in Pune.
Delhi Capitals bt Chennai Slam 92-65 [Finals, Game 3]
The deciding Game 3 of the UBA Season 2 Finals arrived and both teams were rearing to go here at Gachibowli Stadium, Hyderabad. The Capitals squared the series at 1-1 with an impressive win in the second game yesterday. The defending champions Chennai have always managed to show up when it matters the most. But today, they had a huge hurdle to overcome in order to repeat their championship run this season. Chennai forward Arjun GK, who was Chennai’s X-factor in the first two games, got the start today in place of Ramkumar. The Capitals starting lineup remained unchanged in today’s ‘win or go home’ contest.
Delhi got off to a quick start, with a 9-0 run to begin the game. Small forward Ajay Pratap Singh continued to stroke the ball from 3-point range, opening his team’s scoring with a triple. Delhi’s big men Ramesh and Smithin got going early down low, setting the tone for the rest of the game. Slam shooting guard Cammy Carmel stemmed the flow nailing a tough jumper to begin his team’s scoring. Arjun GK made the most of his start, driving in aggressively and finishing at the basket and leaking out in transition. He added 7 points in the first quarter to hit back against Delhi’s quick start. But a couple of 3-pointers from Delhi’s backcourt of Sachin and MVP Vinay Kaushik ensured that Delhi ended the first quarter on top 21-18.
In the second quarter, Ramesh caught fire for Delhi as he had a game-changing second quarter. Beginning with an and-1 play, Ramesh kept fighting in the paint, getting into good position and using his soft touch to find the bottom of the basket. Ajay Pratap Singh kept his efficiency up, hitting timely shots from inside and outside the 3-point line. Too many turnovers hurt Chennai as they struggled to get into their offensive rhythm. Carmel fought hard for Chennai, but the rest of his team suffered from their shooting woes. Delhi raced away to a double-digit lead as they closed out the first half up 45 to 31.
With one half left to defend their title, Chennai was looking for a scoring run to cut the huge deficit. Slam centre Gopal began the third quarter with back-to-back buckets. But as with the other quarter so far, there were not enough other Chennai players stepping up. For Delhi, point guard Sachin Sharma, who has had a quiet series thus far, put on a show in the second half. Despite his small size, he managed to get to the basket relatively effortlessly on multiple occasions. Forward Smithin was effective in the post for Delhi, peppering their scoring with well-timed buckets. Chennai’s shooting troubles continued, as their 3-point field goal percentage was a measly 4% on 1 of 27 shooting in the entire contest.
Up by 20 points going into the fourth period, Delhi kept firing away, shooting lights out from the field at almost 60%. Smithin began the final period knocking down a mid-range jumper, which was followed by a slew of triples from Vinay Kaushik and Ajay Pratap Singh. Carmel kept fighting for Delhi, but it was not enough as Chennai could not control Delhi on the defensive end. The game did get a little chippy midway through the fourth as Agu and Sachin went at each other and the Delhi captain picked up a technical foul soon after. Drama aside, Delhi managed to keep their scoring going with a burst of layups from Sachin and Ajay Pratap down the stretch clinching the game for Delhi.
The Capitals captured Game 3 of the 2016 UBA Finals in blowout fashion with a 92-65 victory, toppling defending champions Chennai Slam. Delhi point guard and captain, Sachin Sharma, was awarded the player of the match.
About the UBA Pro Basketball League
The UBA Pro Basketball League is structured on a league cum knockout basis. Season 2 was held in two phases: 18 to 28 Feb in Pune (Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex) followed by 23 March to 3 April in Hyderabad (Gachibowli Stadium). There are eight teams in total divided into two divisions: Pune Peshwas, Delhi Capitals, Haryana Gold, Punjab Steelers (North division) and Chennai Slam, Mumbai Challengers, Bengaluru Beast and Hyderabad Sky (South division). Chennai Slam won the inaugural season last year with Pune Peshwas finishing second.
About United Basketball Alliance India Pvt. Ltd.
The United Basketball Alliance (UBA India) is a next-generation sports branding company. Its main objective is to make sport brands mean something to their sport viewers. To do that, UBA helps brands connect with viewers by providing insight-driven ideas across all media platforms. With respect to its Pro Basketball League, UBA India has already secured primetime television broadcasting arrangements with the Ten Sports Network, and is securing corporate sponsorships for tournament play, and creating merchandising opportunities.