NEW DELHI: Indian men’s 3×3 basketball rankings have shown a spectacular jump from 70th to 16th, thanks to the recently-concluded third season of the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) and International Basketball Federation (FIBA) backed 3×3 Pro Basketball League (3BL). 3BL Season 3 was held in Mohali from March 8 to 21 and saw participation from leading national and international men’s and women’s 3×3 basketball players.
Top Indian men’s and women’s team stars from across the country including Vishesh Bhriguvanshi (Arjuna Awardee and captain of the men’s national team), Anitha Pauldurai (Padma Shri), Geethu Anna Rahul (Arjuna Awardee), Raspreet Sidhu, Amritpal Singh, Palpreet Singh (ex-NBA player), Princepal Singh (ex-NBA player) and Stephy Nixon, to name just a few, were seen in action across 18 total franchises (12 men’s and 6 women’s).
A post-season press conference was held here on Sunday, conducted by 3BL Commissioner Rohit Bakshi and Prerna Sharma, Director of YKBK Enterprise Pvt Ltd, which owns the ‘3BL’ property. Also in attendance were the two 3BL season 3 champion teams Gurugram Masters (men) and Delhi Divas (women), besides other foreign players.
Indian men’s 3×3 team ranked 2 in Asia
“Prior to the start of 3BL Season 3, we had promised that the Indian men’s team’s global FIBA 3×3 federation ranking would be around 30th. We are pleased to confirm that India men now has ranked 16th in the World, ahead of Asian powerhouses like China, Iran and Philippines and even Australia, which competes in the Asian circuit,” Prerna said.
“I would like to congratulate India’s men’s basketball players, because besides being among the top 20 in the world, our men’s 3×3 ranking is also second best across the whole of Asia, behind only Mongolia,” Rohit said. “We need to maintain men and women’s FIBA 3×3 World ranking and improve to be under 4th in the world rankings by the 31stOctober 2023 to ensure both our men and women’s teams qualify to the 2024 Paris Olympics.”
Indian basketball’s Paris Olympic dreams inching closer to reality
Going by the qualification criteria at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, only 8 teams per gender compete at the 3×3 event in the Olympics. The top four ranked teams (as per the FIBA 3×3 Federations’ Ranking) get direct entry, while the next 16 ranked teams play in an Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
In other words, as per today’s FIBA 3×3 men’s rankings, the Indian team would be eligible to participate in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, by virtue of being the #16 ranked team in the World.
Top 3BL men’s teams rewarded with cash prize and further international participation
In the men’s section Gurugram Masters was crowned champions, Ahmedabad Wingers were the runners up and Mumbai Heroes were placed third. The winning men’s team was awarded INR 35 lakh, runners up won INR 25 lakh and the third placed team received INR 15 lakh. “We are happy that our team Gurugram Masters could repeat as champions,” said Rajeev Tiwari, co-owner of Gurugram Masters franchise. “The competition is getting tougher and tougher. We will continue to dominate the league and win the World Tour Final 2022 to be the best team in the world.” Said Vikas Bansal, co-owner of Gurugram Masters.
Additionally, 3BL season 3’s champion team Gurugram Masters will be participating in the prestigious FIBA 3×3 ‘World Tour’ event in Philippines and a FIBA 3×3 ‘Challenger’ event in Mongolia. Meanwhile, runners up Ahmedabad Wingers will be competing in the first ever ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) 3×3 Cup in Bali, Indonesia.
The ABL 3×3 Cup will be held on 16-17 April, and the FIBA 3×3 World Tour event in the Philippines will take place in Manila on 28-29 May. The dates of the ‘Challenger’ event in Mongolia hasn’t yet been decided, but the venue has been confirmed as its capital city of Ulaanbaatar.
3BL women’s league champion team to compete in Asian 3×3 Cup
Former India captain Raspreet Sidhu led Delhi Divas were crowned the champions of the second season of the Women’s League that was held alongside the third season of the Men’s League. “Delhi Divas will be joining men’s runners up Ahmedabad Wingers, at the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) 3×3 Cup in Indonesia. I am proud to be the owner of Delhi Divas and we will support our team to win the Championship title in ABL as we did in 3BL Season 3.” said Vivek Kumar Singh, owner of Delhi Divas and Delhi Hoopers.
Six new 3BL Women’s teams to be introduced
“Come 3BL Season 4, we will be doubling the number of women’s teams from six to twelve. This will increase the number of Indian women’s players registered on the FIBA 3×3 portal and drive up the Indian women’s ranking as well, to bring it on par with men,” Prerna said.