Punjab Steelers ease past Haryana to move into finals of the championship
26th July - Balewadi Stadium, Pune: Showing their superiority in every aspect of the game, Punjab Steelers beat Haryana Gold 106-97 on Tuesday afternoon in game two of the semifinal series of the North Division of the UBA Pro Basketball League and seal their maiden place in the finals of the championship for the UBA Pro Basketball League Season 3.
Garry shone for Punjab with 27 points as Punjab scored over 100 points for the first time this season. Prakash was the top scorer for Haryana with 26 points.
In this must win game for Haryana, they started with the required flair purpose needed for a game of this magnitude. But Punjab exerted their dominance early in the game by establishing a double digit lead within five minutes and they led 16-9 going into the first time out.
Haryana failed to stem the flow of Punjab's forays and their silly mistakes added to their agony. Punjab's Garry was the most active player with six points and nine rebounds.
Punjab Steelers finished the first quarter leading 30-17 and establishing early control over the game.
Punjab Steelers had six points from turnovers and two second chance points in the first quarter while Haryana Gold could only manage two second chance points.
In the second quarter, Punjab Steelers continued their domination and the likes of Tita and Akhilesh were able to tick the points board for Punjab Steelers and maintaining a healthy lead over Haryana Gold.
Garry was in the thick of action as he made 12 defensive rebounds and scored eight points to help his side take a lead of 51-39 at the end of the second quarter.
Haryana Gold needed a Herculean effort to get back into the game and save their season. They started in a whirlwind fashion and managed to trim the lead to four points within three minutes, thanks to Prakash's efforts.
There were back to back blocks by Haryana's Jaskaran and Garry and the game was being played at a very hectic pace.
Punjab Steelers, however, managed to regain their double digit lead and finished the third quarter 78-67.
The last quarter saw Punjab Steelers extinguish any hopes of a comeback by Haryana Gold as they were clinical and kept picking up points without getting complacent.
Haryana players were left to rue their slackness in the early period of the game as the Punjab players didn't allow their focus to waver.
Punjab Steelers 106 & Haryana Gold 97
Punjab Steelers 106 (Garry 27, Akhilesh 21, Rajveer 14) & Haryana Gold 97 (Prakash 26, Himanshu 21, Jaskaran 14)