Hyderabad Sky mount a comeback to defeat Bengaluru Sky behind Tevin Kelly’s 51 points
Chennai, 18th February, 2017: Bengaluru Beast and Hyderabad Sky came into their second match looking for their first win of the season, having dropped their first games to Chennai Slam and Pune Peshwas respectively.
Neither team wanted to fall into a 0-2 deficit, which could prove to be a hole too deep to climb out of. Bengaluru started with a lineup of Chris Solomon, Visu Palani, Palpreet Brar, Raghuram Dhusianth and Vishesh Bhriguvanshi. Palpreet would be looking to bounce back from a rough start while Vishesh had his strong debut of 41 points to build upon.
Hyderabad’s starting five included Tevin Kelly, Mak Boskailo, Mahipal Singh, Manu Thomas and Mahesh Padmanabhan, who had a monster game with 22 points in the season opener. Tevin Kelly had added 25 points in his first game, and he was quick to win the crowd along with Mak Boskailo in their UBA debut with their high flying antics.
Mak opened up the scoring column by swishing a soft midrange jumper, and Vishesh responded with a similar move on the other end of the floor followed by a lay-in off a Euro-step. Chris Solomon hadn’t shot well from downtown in his first game but he swished in an effortless three in the opening minutes.
Tevin and Mak found their way to the rim with their trademark ease as Hyderabad built a 11-9 lead halfway into the first quarter. Solomon added another three in transition and Manu Thomas began to redeem his showing in the first game with a block and a quick conversion inside.
Mahesh and Kelly connected on a backdoor cut and Pratham answered with a beautiful drive and dish. Mak touched nothing but net on a three and followed it with a two-handed dunk. The crowd began chanting ‘Hyderabad!’ but Vishesh silenced them with a three. The end of the first quarter saw Hyderabad leading 24-23.
Kelly started off the second quarter with a three off a step-back crossover and Mahesh dropped a three from the wing as well. Solomon answered right back with four consecutive threes. Vishesh and Kelly continued their duel in the open court as Palpreet threw an elbow at Kelly, followed by a push resulting in free throws. Mak swooped in for another dunk as Hyderabad trailed 58-51. Vishesh and Palpreet connected on an alley-oop, increasing their lead as Vishesh fed Loveneet for two as well.
While Hyderabad seemed to have the momentum and the crowd with big plays, the second quarter finished with Bengaluru leading 65-53 behind Solomon’s 30 points, 24 of which came from downtown without a miss. He was Curry-esque with his unconscious stroke.
In the third quarter, Mak continued his habit of being the first one to score as the two teams began passing up looks and shot clock violations were whistled on both teams. Palpreet picked up his fifth foul in the opening minutes on an illegal screen and had to leave the floor for the night and Hyderabad capitalized on the void in the middle by taking the ball inside. Manu Thomas uncoiled his lanky frame for a huge block on Loveneet as play stopped on a timeout with Bengaluru’s lead reducing to 69-62. Kaif put the clamps down on Hyderabad with a vice-like grip and forced them into the backcourt.
Mahesh and Kelly connected on a bounce-alley-oop-pass in the open court which blew the roof off the sky. Kelly established his popularity on a hometown-hero scale as the crowd pulsated at his every bucket. Bengaluru found themselves staring down a 10-point deficit at the end of the third with Hyderabad leading 87-77. Tevin and Mak combined for 29 points in the third quarter alone.
The fourth quarter started off with Kelly finishing inside to the delight of the crowd as teammate Joginder followed suit. Hyderabad soon pushed their lead to 17 points as Bengaluru struggled to find an answer on both ends. Bengaluru finally stopped settling for outside shots and cut the lead down with a couple of forays inside. Vishesh and Solomon battled valiantly to fight back but it was not to be as Hyderabad Sky defeat the Bengaluru Beast
We’ve seen a stupendous start to the UBA Season 4 as the UBA scoring record has been broken multiple times already as Tevin Kelly dropped on 51 Bengaluru for an impressive comeback win. Mahesh spoke about his approach to controlling the pace of the game, saying “I think one of the most underrated skills of a basketball player is knowing when to pick your spots. Being over aggressive all the time can be detrimental to the team, so I look to read the situation and respond.”
It will be interesting to see how many more records are obliterated as the season progresses.
Hyderabad Sky (Tevin Kelly 51, Mak Boskailo 31, Mahesh Padmanabhan 15) bt Bengaluru Beast (Chris Solomon 48, Vishesh Bhriguvanshi 19, Palpreet Brar 12)