CHENNAI (Sports Desk)
Mumbai Challengers defeated the Haryana Gold behind Alex Scales’ 45 points. Mumbai had dropped 140 points in regulation in their first game, and they showed that their high-powered offense is here to stay with a convincing win in their second game.Mumbai’s relentless attack put Haryana’s big men in foul trouble as Jaskaran and Akashdeep Hazra fouled out, resulting in a void in the paint which Mumbai took full advantage of to win the game.The first quarter started off with both teams determined to make defence their calling card as both teams displayed an iron will to hold down the fort in the paint. Multiple charges were drawn on either end. Haryana saw a three-pronged attack of Prakash Mishra, Jaskaran and De’Sean Mattox power their offense as the trio combined for 26 points in the first quarter. The end of the first quarter saw the Mumbai Challengers hold on to a slim lead as they led the Haryana Gold 30-28. The second quarter started off with Alex Scales making a statement with a powerful one-handed slam dunk to set the tone as Mumbai Challengers came out of the gate with fury and they quickly extended the lead to 12 points. Haryana found themselves losing their big man Akashdeep and absence opened up the lane for Mumbai. The end of the second quarter saw Mumbai Challengers extend their lead to 63-50 over the Haryana Gold.
Mumbai started the third quarter looking to put the game away as they found contributions from Jeevanathan on both ends. Yadwinder Singh is known as a defensive specialist but he came out equally aggressive on offense in this game as he powered his way to the rim on multiple occasions and picked up 8 points from the free throw line for the Haryana Gold by the third.
Eban Hyams displayed his tenacity as he stripped the ball right out of Alex’s hands on a drive and De’Sean Mattox was on fire from downtown, finishing with 6 of 10 from three-point range for the game. Prakash Mishra drew a critical charge on Inderbir, showing valuable court presence on both ends of the floor. At the end of the third quarter, Mumbai saw their lead reduced to 97-87 over the Haryana Gold.
In the fourth quarter, Alex and Yadwinder exchanged threes as the former continued to establish his dominance close the rim. The game turned into a classic three-point shootout as both teams connected on consecutive attempts. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough for Haryana as Mumbai’s firepower proved too much to handle.In the game, Alex Scales scored 45 points without committing a single foul and Jimmy Scroggins had an all-round game with 19 points and 9 rebounds as they were able to take care of business and defeat the Haryana Gold, who shot 15 of 25 from three-point range.Players of the game: Alex Scales (International), Nikhil Kumar (Indian). Mumbai Challengers (Alex Scales 45 pts, Jimmy Scroggins 19 pts, Jagdeep Bains 12 pts) bt Haryana Gold 123-110 (De’Sean Mattox 39 pts, Eban Hyams 19, Prakash Mishra 18 pts)