.By Siddarth Sharma, UBA Columnist
Goa, 11th March 2017: Bengaluru Beast fought back valiantly to eliminate Pune Peshwas 113-107 in the best of three semifinals series. They overcame a 15 point deficit and booked a place in the finals series against Mumbai Challengers.
The UBA Season 4 championship series is being played at the Dr.Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium in Goa from 10-16 March, 2017.Pune Peshwas started with a lineup of Amritpal Singh, Pierre newton, Narender Grewal, Siddhant Shinde and Hemant. Bengaluru Beast fielded a starting lineup of Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, Pratham Singh, Visu Palani, Palpreet Brar and Raghuram.
Bengaluru played most of the first game of the semifinals series without Palpreet Brar who had twisted his ankle, and they were coming off an exhausting win while being shorthanded. UBA’s two time scoring champion and Season 3 MVP Narender Grewal started off hot by connecting on two threes as Pune rushed to a 14-4 lead. Bengaluru called a timeout to halt their momentum and Pratham, Solomon and Palpreet hit threes to cut Pune’s lead to 21-19. Shinde hit a pair of threes to further push Pune’s lead to 35-27 at the end of the first quarter.
Hemant opened the second half with a three and Amritpal added a powerful dunk as Pune jumped out to a 13 point lead. Palpreet kept Bengaluru in the game by scoring from all over. Amritpal looked absolutely unstoppable as he imposed his will from up close. Pune made more of an effort to involve him tonight and he delivered with 21 points in the first half. Pune had four players in double figures including Amritpal, Shinde Solomon led Bengaluru with 16 points in the first while Palpreet and Pratham delivered 10 points each. Pune led 64-50 at halftime.
Palpreet opened the second half with a three as Bengaluru went on a run, but Pune matched them shot for shot. Bengaluru kept grinding as they cut Pune’s lead into 70-64 at the halfway point in the third quarter. Palpreet committed his third foul but maintained his defensive intensity with some imposing blocks. He had to go to the bench with his fourth foul in the final minutes of the quarter. Pune threatened to steamroll ahead buy Solomon’s hot shooting kept Bengaluru in the game as they closed the third quarter trailing 78-75.
Palpreethit a pair of three pointers to open the fourth quarter as the second game in the series looked to go down to the wire. Palpreet returned to his shot blocking ways as Bengaluru took a 7 point lead on fast break buckets but a pair of dunks from Amritpal cut into the lead. Halfway into the quarter, Bengaluru held on to an 89-88 lead.Palpreet fouled out on his fifth foul and Bengaluru were left to contend with Amritpal’s size without an answer. They answered by getting to the line and maintaining a slim lead. Rajan Sharma hit two clutch layups for Bengaluru in the final minute as Bengaluru held on for a 113-107 win behind Vishesh’s free throws.
Players of the Game: Chris Solomon (International), Palpree tBrar (Indian)
Bengaluru Beast (Chris Solomon 34 pts, Vishesh Bhriguvanshi 27 pts, Palpreet Brar 26 pts) bt 113-107 Pune Peshwas (Amritpal Singh 39 pts, Pierre Newton 24 pts, Narender Grewal 16 pts)