Defending champions Gurugram Masters, with 3×3 stars of Indian descent, beat Ahmedabad Wingers 21-18 in the pinnacle clash to successfully retain their Season 3 3BL title here on Monday.
Master Inderbir Singh Gill has been named Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the country’s 3X3 professional basketball league supported by Basketball Federation of India and International Basketball Federation (FIBA). The third season which ended on Monday saw the participation of the best national and international players in 3X3 men’s and women’s basketball.
The men’s 3BL final was a clash between two opposing conference heavyweight teams, who eventually met after winning nine of their 10 preliminary round matches. The Ahmedabad wingers were led by the Indian national team’s star duo of captain Vishesh Bhriguvanshi and 7ft giant Amritpal Singh.
The key question was whether the undersized Gurugram Masters could contain Amritpal when all the other teams in the previous rounds had failed to do so.
But led by Indian-born center Bikramjit Gill, Masters showed incredible defensive intensity to force Amritpal to battle for every point under the basket. Gill was also able to knock down several two-pointers to exploit ‘mritpal’s notorious reluctance to come out and guard the perimeter.
After the two teams initially traded baskets, Gurugram slowly took the lead, taking an 11-7 lead. Bhriguvanshi kept the Wingers in the fight with his two tough contested runs. At the end of the game, the Wingers trailed 18-19, but an acrobatic two-pointer from Inderbir sealed the 21-18 victory for Gurugram.
Gurugram Masters won Rs 35 lakh for winning the title while runners-up Ahmedabad Wingers pocketed Rs 25 lakh. Mumbai Heroes, who clinched third place based on total points after the six rounds, won Rs 15 lakh. The Gurugram Masters were also given an additional Rs 5 lakh by their owners Vikas Bansal and Rajeev Tiwari.
Along with the sizable prize money, Gurugram Masters will now take part in two prestigious FIBA 3×3 World Tour events later this year – in Manila, Philippines (May 28-29) and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (dates still undecided).
Ahmedabad Wingers, the runners-up, will represent India in the first-ever Asean Basketball League (ABL) 3×3 Cup to be held in Bali, Indonesia on April 16-17.
Basketball Federation of India (BFI) Secretary General Chander Mukhi Sharma presented the trophy, medals and champion’s prize to Gurugram Masters. He said leading the 3BL is a great opportunity for Indian players.
“It will give us a great opportunity for Indian players if these types of activities are regularly carried out in the country. Also, after that, the winners and runners-up will have the chance to play in the World Tour. Thus, our players will have a good experience,” said Sharma.