Chandigarh, March 21 (IANS) Defending champions Gurugram Masters, featuring Indian origin 3×3 stars, defeated Ahmedabad Wingers 21-18 in the summit clash to successfully retained their title in the 3BL Season 3 here on Monday.
Masters’ Inderbir Singh Gill was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 3X3 professional basketball league of the country backed by the Basketball Federation of India and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). The third season which ended on Monday saw participation from top national and international m’n’s and wom’n’s 3X3 basketball players.
The 3BL men’s final was a clash between two heavyweight teams from opposite conferences, finally meeting after winning nine out of their 10 preliminary round matches. Ahmedabad Wingers were led by the Indian national team’s star duo of captain Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, and the 7ft giant Amritpal Singh.
The key question was whether the undersized Gurugram Masters could contain Amritpal when all other teams in the previous rounds had failed to do so.
But led by Indian-origin centre Bikramjit Gill, Masters showcased incredible defensive intensity to force Amritpal to struggle for every point under the basket. Gill was also able to knock down multiple two-pointers to exploit ‘mritpal’s well-known reluctance to come out and guard at the perimeter.
After both teams traded baskets initially, Gurugram slowly nosed ahead, with an 11-7 lead. Bhriguvanshi kept the Wingers in the contest with his tough contested two-pointers. Late in the game, Wingers trailed 18-19, but an acrobatic two-pointer by 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 bagged third place based on the total points after all six rounds, won Rs 15 lakh. The Gurugram Masters were also awarded an additional Rs 5 lakh by their owners Vikas Bansal and Rajeev Tiwari.
Besides the hefty prize money, Gurugram Masters will now participate in two prestigious FIBA 3×3 World Tour events later this year — in Manila, Philippines (May 28-29) and in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (dates as yet 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 champion’s trophy, medals and prize money cheque to Gurugram Masters. He said conducting the 3BL is a great opportunity for Indian players.
“It will give us a great opportunity for the Indian players if these types of activities are regularly conducted in the country. Moreover, after this, the winners and runners-up will get a chance to play in the World Tour. So our players will get good experience,” Sharma said.