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UBA: Mumbai Challengers edge Delhi Capitals 79-77 to enter playoffs

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Defending champions Delhi Capitals failed to book their place in the playoffs of the UBA Pro Basketball League season 3 as they lost to Mumbai Challengers on Friday evening.

Riding on Jagdeep (19 points) and Nikhil's performance (18 points), Mumbai Challengers  pipped Delhi 79-77 to enter the playoffs as Delhi Capitals were left to rue their losses in the first two games of the championship.

Going into the first time out, both were locked at 9-9 but Delhi Capitals, looking to keep their championship hopes alive, took the game in their hands after that and their game plan of keeping a check on Mumbai Challengers' Ranbir yielded results as they finished the first quarter 23-13.

Mumbai looked rusty initially and Delhi Capitals' players wasted no time in seizing the initiative.

In the second quarter, the Mumbai Challengers came back strong and their nimble-footwork helped them take the second quarter 41-34.  Mumbai's Jagdeep and Nikhil helped the Mumbai Challengers regroup and put the pressure back on the defending champions.

For Delhi Capitals, Ramesh Kumar was subdued in the second quarter after scoring eight points in the first quarter.

At halftime, Mumbai pocketed 13 points from turnovers while the Delhi Capitals had four but Delhi had eight second chance points compared to Mumbai's four.

Delhi Capitals needed a sterling performance in the third quarter and they displayed it as they levelled the scores at one point in the quarter. Mumbai Challengers however managed to nudge ahead 60-58 and it set up an exciting last quarter.

The fourth quarter made for exciting viewing and with three minutes left, both teams were tied at 73-73. The last three minutes were enthralling as Delhi Capitals kept pegging back Mumbai Challengers but ultimately came up short and their dream of defending the championship came to an end.

Mumbai Challengers 79 (Jagdeep 19, Nikhil 18, Pruthvi 17) Delhi Capitals 77(Vinay 20, Ramesh 18, Ajay S 12)