February 7, 2017

UBA Basketball League season 4 to be held in Chennai and Goa from Feb 16

In the space of one year, the United Basketball Alliance of India (UBA India) held three quick, short basketball leagues around the country, holding events in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Pune. The rapidly rising association has now announced the dates and host cities for Season 4: for the first time, UBA will be holding official events in two new cities - Chennai and Goa - in the new season, which is set to be held from February 16 to March 16, 2017.

The league is structured as eight teams play a regular season during competing to qualify for the playoffs. The teams are divided into two divisions and feature some of the country’s finest players: The Mumbai Challengers, Delhi Capitals, Haryana Gold and Punjab Steelers form the North Division, and the Chennai Slam, Pune Peshwas, Bengaluru Beast and Hyderabad Sky make up the South Division. The league stage will be held in Chennai's Satyabhama University from February 16 to March 1, before moving to Goa for the championship round (semi-finals and finals) from March 10-16.

Chennai Slam have been the league's most excellent team thus far, qualifying for all three finals and winning Season 1 and 3. The Delhi Capitals paused Chennai's reign with a victory over them in the Season 2 finals. With home advantage in the early stage of the tournament, Chennai will once again be one of the big teams to watch this season. Season 3 finalists Punjab Steelers will be searching for redemption this time around, too.

In December, the UBA hosted its second Pro Performance Camp in Phoenix (USA), where 15 elite UBA players joined American players to take part in various team-building exercises, working on fundamentals, dribbling, defense techniques and shooting drills.

An exciting new addition to the league this season will be the introduction of ten international professionals from the USA to join current UBA teams. These players worked out with the UBA's Indian players in December and will step into the UBA spotlight for the first time this February. At least one international American player will be added on each UBA team, creating stronger competition, performance and a unique experience for the fans of basketball across India.

The most experienced American player coming to India to play in UBA Season 4 is Alex Scales. The 38-year-old shooting guard from the University of Oregan, reached the pinnacle of his career in a one game stint with the San Antonio Spurs in 2005. He has played professionally around the world, including the NBA's D-League, Italy, China, Argentina, Korea, Spain, Greece, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Puerto Rico, and most recently, for Tadamon Zouk in Lebanon. Joining Scales will be Indian-American player of Indian origin Chris Solomon, who played college ball in Florida at Northwood University, then professionally in Italy and Mexico. Other American players include Ron March, Pierre Newton, Tevin Kelly, Mak Boskailo, De'Sean Mattox, Jimmy Scroggins, Brendan Pineda-Morales and Dermaine Crockrell.

On announcing Season Four, CEO of United Basketball Alliance, Tommy Fisher said, "We are absolutely elated to raise the game of basketball in India for the fourth season of UBA. Our goal is to always improve in all aspects from the previous season. The past three seasons have shown significant growth and excitement, and we expect nothing less in Season 4. Basketball continues to gain popularity across India in a big way and we are delighted to be associated with this movement in India. We look forward to seeing talented young players step up and showcase their exceptional skill and talent."

Photo courtesy: UBA India
The UBA were recently victims of some controversy when the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) considered them an 'unauthorised competition' and banned 122 players, officials, coaches, and staff who took part in UBA's Season 3 from participating in all official Indian basketball activities. Last month, the BFI's president K. Govindraj hinted that the BFI will be reconsidering the ban with their sub-committee later this year. It remains to be seen if Season 4 participants will face a similar ban, too

You can catch all the action LIVE for the 4th Season on the Ten Sports network channels - Ten 1 HD and Ten 3 from 16th February- 16th March 2017 from Chennai and Goa.

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