June 22, 2018

FIBA Asia Quest 3x3 India Qualifiers to be held in Bengaluru this weekend

The Basketball Federation of India (BFI) affiliated national 3x3 event will be taking off this weekend. The FIBA Asia Quest 3x3 - India Qualifiers are scheduled to be held in Bengaluru's Sree Kanteerava Stadium on June 23-24, 2018. This FIBA 3x3 event, organised under the aegis of the BFI, will feature 12 city-based teams in two categories (men and women) representing the BFI's affiliated units around India.

The winners and runners-up of the FIBA Asia Quest 3x3 – India Qualifiers will represent India at the South Asian Basketball Association (FIBA Sub-Zone) Quest stop. The SABA Quest stop carries a prize money of USD 10,000, with the top teams going on to the Quest Final.

BFI's president K Govindaraj said that the FIBA Asia Quest 3x3 – India Qualifiers were the ideal opportunity that the BFI were looking for to tip off the FIBA 3x3 movement in India. "FIBA 3x3 is a great concept is a boon for Indian basketball on many counts," said Govindraj. "It not only helps us widen the base for basketball thus increasing the popularity of basketball in India, but also is a fantastic opportunity to increase the number of the organisers for basketball events in India."

"The ultimate aim for BFI is to take the Indian team to the Olympic 3x3 competition."

This, of course, is not the first major 3x3 event in India. The YKBK Enterprise launched the 3BL, a FIBA-recognised 3x3 basketball league in India, two weeks ago in New Delhi. 3BL's first season is being held in six Indian cities - Mumbai, Delhi, Aizawl, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore - from June 9 to August 26 this year with twelve teams. This weekend, while the BFI's Asia Quest event takes place in Bengaluru, 3BL's second round will be in progress in Aizawl.

The BFI's launch of this 3x3 event doesn't come without controversy. On the same day as the 3BL announced their launch, the BFI announced a ban on all 3x3 players in India from playing in national 5x5 events, and vice versa. More recently, the BFI banned two players associated with the 3BL's launch - Amjyot Singh and Palpreet Singh Brar - from federation's national events for one year.

Now, the BFI is entering the competition with their own 3x3 event. The BFI's secretary-general Chander Mukhi Sharma said that the FIBA Asia Quest 3x3 – India Qualifiers will tip off their long-term FIBA 3x3 project.

"BFI has chalked out a long-term FIBA 3x3 program with a competition structure that will involve more than 500 games across India every year," said Sharma. "We do believe that the FIBA 3x3 is certainly the way forward and are certain that it will act as a catalyst in improving the standard of basketball along with increasing the popularity of the sport."

Games at the FIBA Asia Quest 3x3 – India Qualifiers are scheduled to tip off at 4 pm on Saturday June 23, 2018 and through the whole of Sunday at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium outdoor courts.

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