Over this past week (August 2-4), India's only FIBA-recognised 3X3 league - the 3x3 Pro Basketball League Indian Sub-continent (3X3BL) tipped off round 1 of season 2 at the Lovely Professional University campus in Jalandhar.
The 12 men's teams were divided into two Conference's and Conference A, consisting of six teams, competed on Friday while Conference B, also comprising of six teams, took the court on Saturday.
MORE: Official team rosters for 3BL Season 2
Round 1 tipped off with key dignitaries in attendance including Punjab's Sports minister.
3BL Season 2 opens in the presence of the Honorable Shri. Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi, Sports Minister of Punjab (@iranasodhi) at Lovely Professional University (@lpuuniversity), Jalandhar!#LetsGetGold🥇#3x3 #3x3BL #3x3India #Season2 #IndiaBasketball pic.twitter.com/8hX7ph41Ad- 3X3BL (@3X3BL) August 2, 2019
Each team played two other teams in its conference and at the end of the six games, the top four teams advanced to the semifinals. Here's a look at how both conference's looked - Conference A and Conference B.
Chandigarh Challengers led by Amjyot Singh Gill, arguably India's best basketball player right now, and Dhruv Barman, India's No. 2 ranked in the FIBA 3x3 rankings, won the Conference A title in Round 1.
The Challengers bounced back from a tough overtime loss in their opening game to the Aizawl Legends (15-17) by easing past the Bangalore Machas (22-07) to qualify for the semifinals.
In the first semifinal, they beat Kiran Shastri and the Delhi Hoopers 21-14.
Then, in the Conference A Final against the Chennai Icons, Singh iced the game with a free-throw and went on to be named MVP in their 21-8 win.
We have our first ever Conference A winners from Season 2 - Round 1, Chandigarh Challengers🏆 #LetsGetGold🥇#3x3 #3x3BL #3x3India #Season2 #IndiaBasketball pic.twitter.com/dC0rjLwheV- 3X3BL (@3X3BL) August 2, 2019
In Conference B, the Inderbir Singh-led Mumbai Heroes clinched the title.
They breezed past the group stage, beating the Ahmedabad Wingers 21-9 and then beating the Hyderabad Ballers 21-7. In the Semifinal, it came down to the wire against the Kolkata Warriors but off a game-winning shot from beyond the arc by Inderbir Singh, the Heroes came out on top 21-20.
In the Final, the Heroes beat out Bikramjit Singh Gill and the Gurugram Masters (20-14) for the title with the co-MVP award handed out to Inderbir and Rajveer Singh.
Heroism makes Mumbai Conference 'B' Champions 🏆Congratulations! #LetsGetGold🥇#3x3 #3x3BL #Season2 #3x3India #IndiaBasketball pic.twitter.com/hL4EfoapZU- 3X3BL (@3X3BL) August 3, 2019
On the last day of the weekend, the six women's teams played and here's how their schedule looked.
Today's Women's League schedule! #LetsGetGold🥇 #3x3 #3x3BL #Season2 #3x3India #IndiaBasketball pic.twitter.com/RvBrYuF9Cs- 3X3BL (@3X3BL) August 4, 2019
By the end of it all, it was Anita Pauldurai and the Pune Panthers that were Round 1 Champions.
Other than a 14-17 loss to the Ludhiana Queens, they dominated the rest of their games. They won their other group game by 18 (21-03 vs. the Jaipur Regals) and in the knockout semifinal, they cruised past the Delhi Divas 16-7.
In the title decider, they beat the Coimbatore Spunkies with yet another double-digit victory (20-10).
Veteran Anita Pauldurai was named the MVP of Round 1 of Season 1 of the 3X3BWL.