Less than four months after the Delhi Capitals won the second season of the UBA Basketball League, the short-term professional league has returned to India for a surprise third season - their second season of the calendar year. Season 3 of the UBA Basketball League tipped off at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune on Friday, July 15, featuring the same eight teams that have been a part of the league since its origin. In Season 3, the organizers have stressed focus on improving the basketball infrastructure at the games, securing deals with international flooring and equipment companies.
scheduled to be held in Pune from July 15-31, 2016. The eight participating teams are: Delhi Capitals (reigning champions), Chennai Slam (season 2 runners-up, season 1 champs), Pune Peshwas (host team and season 1 runners-up), Mumbai Challengers, Bengaluru Beast, Hyderabad Sky, Punjab Steelers, and Haryana Gold.
One of the main new features to the Season 3 action will be an international standard floor at the Balewadi Stadium. For the first time in India, the wooden flooring has been imported especially for this tournament, and will be laid out in Pune. The new floor is of NBA quality and was last used at the NBA All Star Weekend in Toronto. The floor is an exclusive design for the UBA.
Apart from the floor, the season will also feature goals provided by Spalding and official balls from Evo1.
Present at the press conference at the announcement for Season 3 were Michael Yanke, Chief Marketing Officer – UBA, Todd Mack, Managing Director – UBA, Nandini Basappa, Vice President – Basketball Federation of India and Vivek Mehta, Director – UBA.
When speaking about season three, CEO of United Basketball Alliance (UBA), Tommy Fisher said, “After an overwhelming response to the earlier seasons of the UBA Pro Basketball League, we endeavour to make this edition bigger than before."
While the UBA League has brought an exciting new avenue to basketball in India, it has not been without its share of controversy. The Basketball Federation of India (BFI), the governing body of Indian hoops, recently announced that players/officials in any 'unauthorized' competition in India, like the UBA, will not be allowed to take part in India's official national and international events. This has created an 'outcast' feeling to the league, much like the ICL was to Indian cricket a decade ago.