September 24, 2018

Novi Sad emerge Champions of FIBA 3x3 World Tour Hyderabad Masters

The world’s best 3x3 team, Novi Sad (Serbia), took the title of champions away yet again at the Hyderabad Masters in the FIBA 3x3 World Tour at People’s Plaza in Hyderabad on September 23, 2018. They beat leading team Liman Tesla Voda 21-16 in a high-octane finale on Sunday.

Novi Sad won their fifth World Tour Masters and have already qualified for the World Tour Finals in Beijing.

Indian team, Delhi 3BL, had qualified for the quarter-finals and played their match against Princeton from USA which they lost 14 – 21. Delhi’s star players Inderbir Singh Gill, Bikramjit Gill, Kiran Shastri and Jason Carter put in their best fight against Princeton but fell short against the American team. They have qualified for the Kuala Lumpur Masters on October 13 and 14, 2018 already by winning the Taoyuan Challenger Cup 2018 and will compete at an international platform again for a chance to qualify for the World Tour Finals in Beijing this year.

Hyderabad Masters was the first time India was hosting the prestigious FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters and three Indian teams (Delhi 3BL, Hyderabad 3BL and Bangalore 3BL) participated and got the opportunity to play against the best international teams and players. It was the seventh stop of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters.

September 21, 2018

Top international 3x3 teams including World No. 1 Novi Sad to compete in FIBA 3x3 World Tour Hyderabad Masters

One of the most prestigious 3x3 platforms in the world, FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters is coming to India with the Hyderabad Masters on 22nd and 23rd September 2018 at People’s Plaza, Hyderabad. The best international 3x3 teams will be coming to India for the seventh stop of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters and competing for a chance to qualify for the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Bloomage Beijing Final in October 2018.

The best 3x3 team in the world currently, Novi Sad, with their star player Dusan Bulut who has won more 3x3 trophies than anyone else, will be competing at People’s Plaza. Other teams and players to watch out for will be Piran (World #3), Belgrade (World #9), Simon Finzgar (World #8), Anze Srebovt (#9), Gasper Ovnik (#10), Bogdan Dragovic, Dulgunn Enkhbat and many more.

The two Indian teams competing – Delhi 3BL and Bangalore 3BL will have to put up a strong fight to emerge at the top against these key teams and players. Delhi 3BL with Inderbir Gill (USA #6), Bikramjit Gill (Canada #4), Leandro Souza de Lima (Brazil #1) and Kiran Shastri have competed at Utsunomiya Masters and Mexico City Masters from FIBA 3x3 World Tour where they ranked ninth, Dreals 3x3 World Championship Cup Paris where they emerged third and Taoyuan 3x3 International Challenger Cup 2018 which they won, to qualify for the Kuala Lumpur Masters. Bangalore 3BL, with Rajan Sharma, Lalrina Renthlei, Sowkim Shetty and Amit Sehrawat are also prepared to put their strongest foot forward at the Hyderabad Masters.

The qualification of the Indian teams was decided on the basis of India’s first ever FIBA recognised 3x3 league, 3x3 Pro Basketball League (3BL) which was conducted from June 9 to August 26, 2018 across India. Participation was seen from 12 teams, out of which two were given berths at the Hyderabad Masters.

3x3 basketball has also been recognized as an Olympic sport and will be introduced at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. India has a chance to compete against some of the best teams in Hyderabad which will help improve the skills and abilities of Indian 3x3 players.

Speaking about the Hyderabad Masters, Rohit Bakshi, League Commissioner, 3BL said, “3x3 basketball has been my passion since a long time and I am proud to see how it’s finally gaining importance in India. The fact that FIBA World Tour Masters has come down to the country is enough proof of India’s potential and passion for basketball. 3BL as well received some very encouraging support from the country, and I am excited to see how our Indian teams play for the FIBA World Tour Masters in Hyderabad.”

Alex Sanchez, Managing Director of FIBA 3x3 said, “India is a country where immense passion for sports is deep-rooted and basketball as a sport has great potential to grow and develop here. Following 3BL’s success, we are sure the FIBA World Tour Masters will inspire the country to follow the modern sport and achieve more international titles in 3x3 basketball in the coming years.”

Inderbir Singh Gill of Delhi 3BL, who was the MVP of 3x3BL's first season, said: “3x3 basketball is a really challenging, but exciting game. Winning the inaugural season of 3BL and getting the chance to participate in four international 3x3 tournaments was thrilling and helped improve our game. We hope to show the international teams and our Indian fans what we can achieve when we set our minds to it.”

September 15, 2018

Income Tax (Chennai) win the 54th All India PSG Trophy in Coimbatore

It's been the second major tournament victory for India's "Taxmen" in two months. The Income Tax squad from Chennai came up atop at the 54th All India basketball tournament for the PSG Trophy in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. The tournament was held from September 9-13 at the PSG Tech Indoor Complex, featuring eight top Men's basketball teams.

In the close final on Thursday, Income Tax defeated Bengaluru's Vijaya Bank 82-78. Jeeva Nandham was dominant in the finale, scoring 36 points in the victory for Income Tax, while Ram Kumar added 17. International player Aravind Annadurai and Anil Kumar each scored 26 for Vijaya Bank's losing effort.

The winners of the tournament were rewarded 1 lakh rupees, while 50,000 was given to the runners-up.

September 8, 2018

Eight of India's leading men's basketball teams head to Coimbatore for PSG Trophy All India Tournament

One of India's most prestigious invitational basketball tournaments will return to Tamil Nadu this week, featuring several of India's top players vying for the highest honour. The 54th All India basketball tournament for the PSG Trophy will begin at the PSG Tech Indoor Complex in Coimbatore on Sunday, September 9 featuring eight teams from around the country. The final of the tournament is scheduled for September 13.

Participating teams will include Indian Army (Delhi), Indian Bank (Chennai), Indian Railways, Income Tax (Chennai), Vijaya Bank (Bengaluru), Customs (Kochi), Integral Coach Factory (Chennai) and Indian Air Force (Delhi). Indian Army finished runners-up in this tournament last year. Last year's champs IOB (Chennai) will not be taking part this year.

The winners will get Rs one lakh, the runner-up Rs 50,000 while the best player will receive Rs 10,000

September 7, 2018

Indian basketball player Satnam Singh signs with St. John's Edge of Canada's NBL

Satnam Singh's sensational basketball journey - from far-off Punjabi village to the elite IMG Academy to the NBA Draft, the G-League, and the Indian national team - has taken another new twist. On Thursday, September 6, the St. John's Edge of Canada's National Basketball League (NBL) announced that they have signed Satnam to a one-year contract for the 2018-19 season.

Satnam - a 7-foot-2 center from Ballo Ke village in Punjab - is the first and only Indian to be drafted to the NBA (Dallas Mavericks) and the first Indian to play in the G-League (Texas Legends). After two years with the Legends, Satnam returned to play for India's national team back home for the past one and half years. He was also the subject of the Netflix documentary "One in a Billion" in 2016.

After playing for the IMA Academy in Florida from age 14-19, Satnam declared for the 2015 NBA Draft and was picked 52nd in the second round by the Mavericks. He never made an NBA appearance but played for the Mavericks' Summer League team and their G-League affiliate, the Legends. During his two seasons with the Legends, Satnam averaged 1.5 points, 1.4 rebounds and 7.1 minutes per game. He shot .410 (16-for-39) from the field and .588 (10-for-17) at the free throw line. He has played for India at various major international events, including the three senior FIBA Asia Cups/Championships (2011, 2013, 2017).

The contract and negotiation with St. John’s Edge and Satnam was facilitated by Cornerstone Sport, a sport management and talent representation agency, which exclusively manages Indian skipper Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, and others. Bunty Sajdeh, CEO, Cornerstone Sport, said, "India is a young, emotional country and always looking for icons to look up to. And Basketball as a sport has always been popular in India. Satnam Singh, his journey this far and now signing with the Edge in Canada gives us all someone to look forward to, to follow and encourage."

"I am really excited to be a part of St John’s Edge," said Satnam. "It's a very proud moment, and I am sure this will encourage many others to pick up basketball as a career. I am very thankful to everyone who supported me and helped me become who I am today."

I interviewed Satnam briefly on Friday morning, where he added, "I am happy that I will get playing time, which I didn't get in my stint with the NBA/G-League. I had been in India for one and a half years and didn't find any opportunities beyond the Indian national team. I want to make the most of this chance to improve my game as much as possible over there. I feel that I will play with a lot of good players who will help me improve, and from there I hope to make it back to the NBA."

Dough Plumb, Head Coach, St. John's Edge said in a press release, "We’re excited to add Satnam to our team, he brings a history of NBA and International playing pedigree to our team. It’s remarkable to truly understand where he’s come from and where he is today. This is a great signing not only for our organisation but for our league."

The NBL of Canada was founded in 2011 and expanded to ten teams - including the St. John's Edge - in 2017. In their inaugural season in 2017-18, the Edge finished second in the Central Division and were defeated in the Division Finals (league semi-finals) by the eventual winners, London Lightning.

September 4, 2018

India to host an official FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters event for the first time

For the first time, the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters event will be held in India this month, at the People's Plaza in Hyderabad on September 22-23. Leading international 3x3 basketball teams will take part in the competition, and will be joined by the two top teams from India's 3x3BL league, Delhi 3BL and Bangalore 3BL.

The Hyderabad Masters is the seventh stage of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour and is the first time an international 3x3 basketball tournament is being played in India. The participating teams will compete for a chance to qualify for the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Bloomage Beijing Final on October 27-28, 2018. The best international teams like Novi Sad (World #1), Piran (#3), Belgrade (#9) and more, along with top international players like Simon Finzgar (World #8), Anze Srebovt (#9) and Gasper Ovnik (#10) will be playing at Hyderabad.

The qualification for Indian 3x3 teams was decided on the basis of the results of the inaugural season of 3x3 Pro Basketball League (3BL) which was held from June 9 to August 26, 2018 across six cities in India. The two leading teams - Delhi , which won five rounds out of six and Bangalore, which won one round. Members of team Delhi are- Inderbir Gill, Bikramjit Gill, Leandro Souza de Lima and Kiran Shastri. Members of team Bangalore are- Sowkin Shetty, Amit Sehrawat, Rajan Sharma and Lalrina Renthlei.

Speaking about the FIBA 3x3 World Tour, Hyderabad Masters, Yoshiya Katoh, Chairman, 3BL, said, "India is getting a chance like never before – to host the FIBA 3x3 World Tour. Only nine other cities in the world have been the hosts in this edition. This is an opportunity for Indian basketball players to compete against the strongest opponents and improve their game. We are proud to be a part of this landmark moment."

Rohit Bakshi, League Commissioner, 3BL, said, "One of my biggest dreams has been to see an Indian team win a medal at an international platform in 3x3 basketball. Team Delhi 3BL and Bangalore 3BL both have the potential to emerge at the top in Hyderabad Masters and qualify for the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Finals. Moreover, competing against international teams is only going to be improve their game and increase our chances for 2020 Tokyo Olympics."

September 2, 2018

China sweep basketball events at 2018 Asian Games; India's Women return winless

The venues were in Jakarta, Indonesia, but by the end of the basketball competitions at the 2018 Asian Games, it was the Chinese that felt most at home.

China swept across all categories of basketball at the Asian Games, winning gold in the Men's, Women's, 3x3 Men's, and 3x3 Women's events. It was a dominant performance and a reminder that, despite some recent inconsistencies, the Chinese still stand as the most dominant force in Asian hoops.

The basketball finals at the Asian Games were held in Jakarta on Saturday, September 1. China's Men's team defeated Iran 84-72, and China's Women's squad won the gold with a win over Korea's combine dteam, 71-65. South Korea won the Men's bronze with a 89-81 win over Chinese Taipei. Chinese Taipei lost the Women's bronze medal game, too, against Japan 76-63.

Chinese Men defeated South Korea in a closely-contested Men's 3x3 final, 19-18, and Iran won bronze by cruising against Thailand 21-7. Chinese Women beat Japan 21-10 for the 3x3 gold and Thailand won the women's bronze in a close game against Chinese Taipei, 15-14.

Although India participated and succeeded in various sporting disciplines at the Asian Games this year, it was a forgettable campaign for the country's basketball contingent. India only sent a Women's basketball team for the 5x5 event, as the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) held back the Men's team and the 3x3 teams citing their low chances for success at the Games.

India's Women, led by head coach Shiba Maggon and featuring leading players like Jeena Scaria, Shireen Limaye, Raspreet Sidhu, and Rajapriyadharshini Rajaganapathi, were placed in Group X of the preliminary round stage, along with Korea (Combined), Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, and Kazakhstan.

India began their campaign against Kazakhstan, a squad they were evenly matched with and whom they defeated in the Division B final of the FIBA Asia Women's Cup last year. This time around, it was Kazakhstan who held the edge, and raced out to a 79-61 win. Tamara Yagodkina (21) and Zalina Kurazova (16) led the way for the Kazakhs win.

India's second game was against Chinese Taipei. The Indian eves started off well and only trailed by five at halftime against the much-favoured squad. But a 31-17 third quarter run gave Chinese Taipei the necessary separation as they sped their way to an 84-61 blowout.

The Combined Korean squad - eventual silver-medalists at the tournament - had the easiest time against India, dominating from start till finish to a 104-54 victory. Lee Seul Kang led all scorers for Korea with 17.

It all came down to India's final group stage game, against hosts Indonesia, in a do-or-die contest that could determine their qualification to the next round. It was a neck-to-neck game as expected, and although Indonesia held the lead for most of the time, India made an impressive late comeback to take the lead in the final quarter. Alas, Indonesia won the battle of the nerves in front of their home fans in the fourth quarter and survived for a 69-66 win. Natasha Debby Christaline had 21 for Indonesia while India's top scorer was Stephy Nixon (18).

The result dropped India to 0-4 and they were knocked out of the tournament. This was another disappointing result for Indian basketball, which has been facing a string of major losses at the international stage in both the men's and women's competitions. India's Women's failure at the Asian Games and the complete non-participation of the Men should reflect directly at the federation in India and their failures to develop and prepare our top players for these competitions.

Final Basketball Rankings from the 2018 Asian Games

  • 1. China
  • 2. Iran
  • 3. South Korea

  • 1. China
  • 2. Korea
  • 3. Japan

Men 3x3
  • 1. China
  • 2. South Korea
  • 3. Iran

Women 3x3
  • 1. China
  • 2. Japan
  • 3. Thailand