PV Sindhu put up a gritty performance on Wednesday to come back from behind against world No. 11 Beiwen Zhang of USA to eke out a 4-3 win for Chennai Smashers in their Premier Badminton League (PBL) tie against Mumbai Rockets in Siri Fort Sports Complex in New Delhi.Sindhu had to battle against Zhang 12-15, 15-7, 15-9 to consolidate Chennai’s position in the tie with a 2-1 lead.Sindhu’s match was the third match of the day and Zhang was at the top of her game in the initial half of the match. Zhang smashed and rallied her way over Sindhu to down the Indian.However, the Indian world No.2 bounced right back and put all her smashing prowess on display in the second game. Zhang also began to look a bit tired by the second half of the second game and eventually surrendered to Sindhu’s power.The world No.2 continued with the same strategy in the third game and despite Zhang matching toe to toe initially, she failed pose any real threat to [email protected]’ @Pvsindhu1 is the IndianOil Indian Player of the Day after her hard-fought victory against Beiwen Zhang.#CHEvMUM #VodafonePBL #SmashTheHouseDown pic.twitter.com/Wr8rNDvgOG- PBL India (@PBLIndiaLive) December 27, 2017Earlier, Sameer Verma had a heartbreak against Chennai’s Brice Leverdez as the Indian lost 14-15, 15-10, 14-15, which got the Smashers to a 1-1 tie with Mumbai.Sameer won the first point of the match and his net drops troubled Leverdez from the outset, which helped the Indian go into the break with an 8-6 lead.advertisementHowever, Leverdez came back hard despite being 10-14 down and levelled the game at 14-14.With the factor of sudden death, Leverdez clinched the decisive last point to win the game 15-14.Sameer made a strong comeback in the second game with his deceptive shots and started to play Leverdez at the back which started giving him spaces to attack.With the right strategy and implementation, Sameer raced to a 13-9 and it was only a matter of time from there and Sameer took the second game to force the match into the decider.The third game turned out to be equally interesting with both Sameer and Leverdez staying neck-and-neck.Leverdez found his stride in the right moment and raced to a 13-10 lead, only for Sameer to hit a wonderful patch, where he levelled the game 14-14.However, Leverdez dictated the pace of the final rally and Sameer hit the net to lose the match.The first match of the tie had gone to Mumbai’s favour when Lee Yong Dae and Tan Boon Heong crushed B Sumeeth Reddy and Lee Yang 15-9, 15-6Former world No.1 Son Wan Ho brought Mumbai Rockets right back into the tie in a dominating fashion, pulling off a commanding 15-11, 15-5 win over Tanongsak Saesomboonsuk in Mumbai’s Trump match.With two points at stake, Son Wan Ho brought his A game to the table and Tanongsak had no answers to him.Son Wan Ho, who is essentially a defensive player, began on an attacking note and maintained his momentum and tempo throughout the match.Tanongsak attempted to play Wan Ho up front but with the strong rally game of Wan Ho, it proved to be no real roadblock.Wan Ho completely outplayed the Thai player to put Mumbai 3-2 up and decision of the tie went to the final match, the mixed doubles match, which was Chennai’s Trump match.Some scintillating shots and a victory in straight games against TanongsakSaensomboonsuk, Son Wan Ho is tonight’s Vodafone Super Player of thetie!#CHEvMUM #VodafonePBL #SmashTheHouseDown pic.twitter.com/2witwGC4fL- PBL India (@PBLIndiaLive) December 27, 2017The mixed doubles tie between Chennai’s Chris and Gabrielle Adcock and Mumbai’s MR Arjun and Gabriela Stoeva proved to be a fitting finale to the night.With absolutely the win on the line, both teams gave it their all but the Adcocks emerged victorious 15-9, 13-15, 15-9.Adcocks absolutely dominated the Mumbai pair in the first game of the match with Chris’ smashes being the biggest takeaway of the game.However, it was the second game that turned the tables when world no.41 in men’s doubles Arjun and Stoeva began playing some brilliant net drops and started putting up a fabulous defensive show.Blocking each of Chris’ smashes with equal vigour and conviction, Arjun and Stoeva led 8-6 at the break.They eventually raced to a 13-10 before the Adcocks drew level 13-13, only for Arjun and Stoeva to step up the tempo to take the game 15-13.advertisementAdcocks began the third game with absolute vengeance and smashed their way to a 6-0 lead.Arjun and Stoeva, thereafter, put Gabriela in some tough spots and managed four points back, before the Adcocks lead 8-4 at the break.Despite some excellent fight from Mumbai, Chris and Gabrielle handed Chennai their first win of the season with 15-9 win in the final game.
SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Spurs got the test they were expecting all season at home, and it almost proved too much for them to overcome.Kawhi Leonard had 19 points and 12 rebounds and the San Antonio Spurs held off Kristaps Porzingis and the New York Knicks 100-99 on Jan. 8 to remain unbeaten at home.San Antonio won its franchise-record 22nd straight home game to open the season and tied the franchise’s best start after 38 games at 32-6. But after winning their past three home games by a 25-point average, the Spurs escaped when Jose Calderon’s 3-pointer at the buzzer bounced off the rim.“I was kind of enjoying (the blowouts),” San Antonio guard Manu Ginobili said. “It’s not bad to win games like that. Nothing is easy in the NBA, but we knew in facing the Knicks that they were playing great, feeling good about themselves. We had to play much better to get this win. And I think we did.”Porzingis had 28 points and 11 rebounds but was on the bench when the Knicks started a 14-4 run to pull within 96-94 with 1:27 remaining.New York’s Arron Afflalo hit his second 3-pointer in the final 2 minutes to make it 98-97 Spurs. After Tony Parker’s layup for San Antonio, Porzingis threw down an alley-oop dunk.After rebounding Parker’s missed 20-foot jumper with 15.9 seconds remaining, Langston Galloway took the ball up court to set up Calderon’s miss after seeing New York coach Derrick Fisher did not want to call a timeout.“I thought it was best to allow the game to finish up as it was going,” Fisher said. “Their defense wasn’t really set. Everybody was trying to scramble to figure out how they matched up. We made a good basketball play. We got a good shooter an open look, and it just didn’t go in.”Anthony had 20 points and 12 rebounds but passed up the final shot after getting Ginobili to help defensively off Calderon. But Calderon missed the 3-pointer from the left corner ahead of a charging Ginobili to end the game and snap New York’s three-game winning streak.“At the end we have to play better defense,” Parker said. “That’s a good look that we gave away. Calderon is a good shooter. It looked good, I thought it was going in.”Aldridge, Parker and Ginobili each had 16 points for San Antonio, which was won seven straight.TweetPinShare0 Shares