After two frantic days of quickfire basketball, the first ever 3x3 National Basketball Championship in India was decided with the Finals at the Thyagaraj Stadium in New Delhi on Thursday evening. The tournament, which was held on April 10-11, saw India's best players from various states and units across the country take part in this new format of the game. At the end, Tamil Nadu Men and Indian Railways Women hoisted the winners' trophies.
The word of the tournament was 'fast'. 3x3 Basketball is a fast-paced version of the sport, held on the half-court in just quick 10-minute games. Around 60 games a day were held on each day of the tournament.
A total of 20 Men's and 16 Women's senior teams took part in the tournament.
The Men's Final was eventually held between Tamil Nadu and Indian Railways, and the closely matched teams fought each other neck-to-neck till the very end. The rules of 3x3 basketball state that the team leading at the end of 10 minutes or the first team to 21 points would be the winner. After regulation time, TN and Railways were tied in a hotly contested battle at 20-20. Going into overtime then, the winner would be whichever team to secure a two-point lead. That team was Tamil Nadu, who survived to win the contest 22-20. Pratham Singh had 11 points for the winning side.
It seems that Indian Railways women - led by Geethu Anna Jose and Anitha Paul Durai - win every competition in India, and in this new format was no exception. Railways dominated their final match-up against Delhi to cruise to a 21-12 victory.
Uttarakhand Men won third place in the tournament, defeating Kerala 21-13 behind 10 points by Vishesh Bhriguvanshi. Third place for Women was won by Maharashtra, who defeated Punjab 19-10 in the third-place matchup.
Earlier in the day, TN Men were made to sweat against Uttarakhand - the reigning holders of the Men's National Basketball Trophy - in a defensive game was finally decided 14-11 in TN's favour. Railways Men defeated Kerala 18-12 in the second Men's Semi-Final.
In the Women's Semi-Finals, Jose scored 12 points for Indian Railways to defeat Punjab 21-8, while Delhi defeated Maharashtra 16-13 at the end of 10 minutes.
- Men: Tamil Nadu (Pratham Singh 11, Rikin Pethani 8) bt Indian Railways (Prakash Mishra 9) 22-20 OT
- Women: Indian Railways (Manisha Dange 8) bt Delhi 21-12
- Men: Uttarakhand (Vishesh Briguvanshi 10) bt Kerala 21-13
- Women: Maharashtra bt Punjab 19-10
1. Tamil Nadu
2. Indian Railways
1. Indian Railways
Prize Money in both men and women category: Winner - Rs 1,01,000; Runner-up - Rs 30,000; Third place - Rs 20,000.