• The two phase event to be held at Pune & Hyderabad from 18th February onwards
  • Live telecast on Ten Sports platforms.
  • Olympic medallist boxer MC Mary Kom and actor Suniel Shetty to grace the opening ceremony on 18th February as chief guests
From left to right_ Jody Basye, Steve Graham, Paul Crane, Tausif, Todd Mack, Deepesh Solanki, Norman Isaac. UBA Pro Basketball League Season 2

From left to right: UBA’s Jody Basye, Steve Graham, Paul Crane, Tausif, Todd Mack and Deepesh Solanki. Far right: FIBA Commissioner: Norman Isaac of BFI.

Pune, February 16th, 2016: The Season 2 of the UBA Pro Basketball League, India’s first professional basketball event, is all set to be held between February 18th and April 3rd. The two phase event is to be held at Pune’s Balewadi Stadium and Hyderabad’ Gachibowli Stadium. The League will be LIVE telecasted on Ten network channels – Ten Sports / Ten Action / Ten HD.

With the objective of promoting basketball among the sports lovers, the United Basketball Alliance India (P) Ltd., has initiated a professional league that provides the young and experienced players, a platform to express themselves on the court.

The Pro Basketball League comprises eight professional teams from different cities of India, which compete over the course of two months emerge as the Champions of the Season 2.

Speaking about the League, Todd Mack, Managing Director, United Basketball Alliance India (P) Ltd., said, “Pro Basketball League is the platform, much needed for basketball players in India, who aspire to make it big in the sport. UBA provides these young players, an opportunity to test their skills at a professional level. Additionally, the best players from the League get an opportunity to train outside India, and rub shoulders with some of the big names of the sport, from around the world.

From left to right_Gurwinder Gill, Sartaj Sandhu (Punjab Steelers), Birender Singh (Haryana Gold), Ajinkya Mehta (Pune Pehwas), Ramkumar (Chennai Slam).

From left to right_Gurwinder Gill, Sartaj Sandhu (Punjab Steelers), Birender Singh (Haryana Gold), Ajinkya Mehta (Pune Pehwas), Ramkumar (Chennai Slam).

Noted Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty and five time World Amateur Boxing champion Mary Kom will grace the opening ceremony to be held on February 18th at the Pune’s Balewadi Stadium. Basketball Federation of India is extending its support to this event, and former international player, Norman Isaac of BFI, will be the Technical Commissioner of the League.

UBA has partnered with Emmy Award winning broadcaster Paul Crane who has covered sports at the highest levels in the United States for over three decades, to present the Pro Basketball League 2016. Steve Graham, executive producer of the League, has been involved with six past Olympic Games, international triathlons, auto racing and international volleyball games in his career.

UBA Pro Basketball League 2016 Season 2
Date Time Match Venue LIVE/Deferred
Phase-1
Feb 18 16:30 Punjab Steelers vs Delhi Capitals Pune Ten Action/HD
Feb 18 19:00 Mumbai Challengers vs Haryana Gold Pune Ten Action/HD
Feb 19 16:30 Chennai Slam vs Hyderabad Sky Pune Ten Action
Feb 19 19:00 Bengaluru Beast vs Pune Peshwas Pune Ten Action/HD
Feb 20 16:30 Delhi Capitals vs Haryana Gold Pune Ten Sports/HD
Feb 20 19:00 Punjab Steelers vs Mumbai Challengers Pune Ten Action
Feb 21 16:30 Chennai Slam vs Bengaluru Beast Pune Ten Sports
Feb 21 19:00 Hyderabad Sky vs Pune Peshwas Pune Ten Action
Feb 22 16:30 Punjab Steelers vs Chennai Slam Pune Ten Action
Feb 22 19:00 Delhi Capitals vs Hyderabad Sky Pune Ten Action
Feb 24 16:30 Mumbai Challengers vs Bengaluru Beast Pune Ten Action
Feb 24 19:00 Pune Peshwas vs Haryana Gold Pune Ten Sports/HD
Feb 25 16:30 Hyderabad Gold vs Punjab Steelers Pune Ten Action/HD
Feb 25 19:00 Delhi Capitals vs Mumbai Challengers Pune Ten Action/HD
Feb 26 16:30 Chennai Slam vs Pune Peshwas Pune Ten Action/HD
Feb 26 19:00 Hyderabad Sky vs Bengaluru Beast Pune Ten Sports/HD
Feb 27 16:30 Punjab Steelers vs Delhi Capitals Pune HD/Ten Action
Feb 27 19:00 Mumbai Challengers vs Haryana Gold Pune Ten Action
Feb 28 16:30 Chennai Slam vs Hyderabad Sky Pune Ten Action/HD
Feb 28 19:00 Bengaluru Beast Pune Ten Action/HD
Phase-2
Mar 23 16:30 Hyderabad Gold vs Delhi Capitals Hyderabad
Mar 23 19:00 Mumbai Challengers vs Punjab Steelers Hyderabad
Mar 24 16:30 Pune Peshwas vs Hyderabad Sky Hyderabad
Mar 24 19:00 Chennai Slam vs Bengaluru Beast Hyderabad
Mar 25 16:30 Punjab Steelers vs Haryana Gold Hyderabad
Mar 25 19:00 Delhi Capitals vs Mumbai Challengers Hyderabad
Mar 26 16:30 Chennai Slam vs Pune Peshwas Hyderabad
Mar 26 19:00 Hyderabad Sky vs Bengaluru Beast Hyderabad
Play-offs
Mar 27 16:30 North (2nd place) vs North (3rd place) Hyderabad
Mar 27 19:00 South (2nd place) vs South (3rd place) Hyderabad
Semi-finals (Best of 3 Games)
Mar 28 16:30 South (1st place) vs South (2nd vs 3rd) Hyderabad
Mar 28 19:00 North (1st place) vs North (2nd vs 3rd) Hyderabad
Mar 29 16:30 South (1st place) vs South (2nd vs 3rd) Hyderabad
Mar 29 19:30 North (1st place) vs North (2nd vs 3rd) Hyderabad
Mar 30 16:30 South (1st place) vs South (2nd vs 3rd) Hyderabad Only if necessary
Mar 30 19:00 North (1st place) vs North (2nd vs 3rd) Hyderabad Only if necessary
Championship finals (Best of 3 Games)
Apr 1 19:00 Winner North vs Winner South Hyderabad
Apr 2 19:00 Winner North vs Winner South Hyderabad
Apr 3 19:00 Winner North vs Winner South Hyderabad Only if necessary

Franchise teams- Breakdown

1. Bengaluru Beast

bengaluru

Division: South

  1. RAGHURAM
  2. JAIPAL SINGH MAAN
  3. KAIFE AZAM ZIA
  4. KARAN HAROLD JOSHUA
  5. CHETAN SURESH
  6. HRISHIKESH NAIDU
  7. YASHAS
  8. SANJAY RAJ
  9. YADVINDER SINGH JAJ
  10. AKINJEET
  11. MANJEET
  12. VISU PALANI
  13. PRASANNA JAYASANKAR- COACH
  14. PUNEESH SURESH- COACH

Helmed by the highly respected Prasanna Jayasankar, a former India women’s captain, and Puneeth Suresh, a hugely successful varsity coach from Jain University, Bengaluru; Bengaluru Beast seem to have the perfect balance of international experience and local trust factor in the coaching department.

A squad with immense talent, Beast will need to find the resolve to better their result in season 1, where failed to qualify to the knockout rounds.

Key to their fortunes will be the performance of talented leaper Kaife Zia, who will be eager to show how his foreign UBA training last year has made him a better player this time around.

League Stages W-L Record from Season 1: 3-3

Last Result: 59-67 loss to Chennai Slam in league stages

2. Pune Peshwas

pune

Division: South

  1. RAVI KUMAR
  2. AJINKYA MEHTA
  3. AJINKYA MANE
  4. SIDDHANTH SHINDE
  5. KARNE MEHTA
  6. ARJUN MEHTA
  7. EDWIN IRWIN
  8. YOGESH BAHIRAME
  9. GAURAV OHLAN
  10. PARVESH R
  11. DEEPAK P
  12. NARENDAR GREWAL
  13. NANDU MEHTA- COACH

Talk about proving predictions wrong. If last year, the Peshwas surprised everybody by reaching the finals despite the absence of any ‘star’ names, this year, the Nandu Mehta coached side will look to go one better and win it all. Notably, this year, the side will be bolstered by the presence of current India international, Narender Grewal. The “one handed shooter” can be expected to play a pivotal role in the side that also features other prominent internationals such as local Pune lad Siddhanth Shinde (senior India) and Gaurav Ohlan (junior India).

League Stages W-L Record from Season 1: 3-3

Last Result: 49-81 loss to Chennai Slam in finals

3. Chennai Slam

chennai

Division: South

  1. RAM KUMAR
  2. AGU SHERIFF CHUWUNANU
  3. CAMMY CARMEL
  4. ADITYA BISWAS
  5. VIGNESH
  6. “VIKKI” VIGNESH
  7. ARJUN G K
  8. ASUTOSH
  9. E B JOS
  10. GOPAL
  11. BOPANNA
  12. LONGI
  13. RAVI KUMAR- COACH
  14. YASHWANT- COACH

Coming to the defending champions themselves. While both Bengaluru and Pune had Chennai to blame for ending their run last year, the “Slammers” themselves will be looking to ‘repeat’ as winners. This is a team that knows how to play together, and well. Seamless on both ends of the floor, and with a deep bench, Slam is a fine representation of the systemic culture of basketball in Tamil Nadu. They are selfless, composed and adept at controlling the tempo of the game. In short, Slam is a champion side with a target on its back. The challenge for them will be to fend off the remaining sides and stay on top of the hill for another year running.

League Stages W-L Record from Season 1: 4-2

Last Result: 81-49 win over Pune Peshwas in finals

4. Hyderabad Sky

Hyderabad Sky

Division: South

  1. JOGINDER SINGH
  2. L SUJITH REDDY
  3. VIJAY KUMAR
  4. GARNISH PATIL
  5. SHIV KUMAR
  6. MONISH WILSON
  7. AMIT BISHLA
  8. HIMANSHU JHANGDA
  9. RAHUL S
  10. MAHESH
  11. KUMAR V
  12. EDWIN
  13. NIHAL YADAV
  14. SRINATH- COACH
  15. ANTONY ISSAC- COACH

*ONE PLAYER IS STANDBY

Rounding off the teams from the South is the Hyderabad Sky. Like Chennai, in terms of playing style, Sky is another classic representation of their city. The Sky players are “street” ballers, willing to fight hard and be aggressive. But last year, performing in front of their home crowd, tensions got the better of them as they fell to a tough 1 point loss to the Peshwas. Will the temperamental centre Sujith Reddy manage to maintain his composure? Can Hyderabad go from the streets to the Sky? Only time will tell…

League Stages W-L Record from Season 1: 2-4

Last Result: 69-70 loss to Pune Peshwas in league stages

5. Haryana Gold

Haryana Gold

Division: North

  1. VIKAS KUMAR
  2. BIRENDER
  3. ABISEKH
  4. SUSHANT
  5. AKASH BHASIN
  6. JASKARAN
  7. ASHIV JAIN
  8. TUSHAR
  9. SHUBAM
  10. SANJEEV KUMAR
  11. ROHIT GULIA
  12. RAJAT
  13. SHIBA MAGGON- COACH
  14. PUNEET- COACH

Tipping off our analysis of north division teams is Haryana Gold. With a 5-1 win loss record and +65 point differential after last year’s league stages, Gold entered the semis with the best record among all teams. That’s when they found their marauding ways rudely stopped by the upstart Pune Peshwas. In season 2, Gold will see many personnel changes. In the coaching sector, renowned women’s coach Shiba Maggon, who hails from Karnal, Haryana, has her task cut out. She will look to provide that much needed strategic push, especially in the knockout stages, assuming of course the team progresses from what promises to be a very tough north division.

League Stages W-L Record from Season 1: 5-1

Last Result: 80-81 loss to Pune Peshwas in the semifinals

6. Delhi Capitals

Delhi Capitals

Division: North

  1. YUDVHIR SINGH
  2. ARSHDEEP SINGH
  3. RAJ ADDITYA
  4. AYUSH SHARMA
  5. SUNIL
  6. SATYAJEET
  7. AJAY SINGH
  8. SMITHIN
  9. RAMESH
  10. AJAY P
  11. SACHIN
  12. VINAY KAUSHIK
  13. MUKESH BISHNOI- COACH
  14. BASHA- COACH

Delhi started off slow last year before reeling off wins in the concluding league stages. Unfortunately they couldn’t qualify for the semis. But they had made their point clear to all teams, that this is a side on the rise. Coached by ex-University star Mukesh Bishnoi, Delhi Capitals has great upside, coming from a city with a vibrant college hoops culture. But pro basketball is a different ball game altogether, and the Capitals will need to show that its young players have found the mental and physical resilience to go toe to toe with the big boys. The inspired move of adding senior India small forward Vinay Kaushik, himself a Delhi University (DU) alum, will go a long way in countering this limitation.

League Stages W-L Record from Season 1: 3-3

Last Result: 100-73 win over Mumbai Challengers in the league stages

7. Mumbai Challengers

mumbai

Division: North

  1. DILDAR SINGH
  2. LUMENDRA SAHE
  3. KARAN PAL SINGH
  4. JAGDEEP BAINS
  5. GAGANDEEP SINGH
  6. RANBIR SINGH
  7. SURENDER
  8. NIKHIL
  9. RAVINDER
  10. RAVENDRA D
  11. RAJ
  12. PRUDHVI
  13. PC ANTONY- COACH
  14. SANDEEP BOSE- COACH

They say form is temporary, and class is permanent. In the case of Mumbai, both form and class were missing in the first season. But just like how the proverbial phoenix rises from the ashes, this completely revamped Mumbai Challengers is a far cry from the disparate elements of last year. Led by former India star Jagdeep Singh Bains, who incidentally is still only 29, the Challengers are guaranteed to fare better in season two. After all, India’s “maximum” city deserves a team with maximum potential. Besides Bains, the side will see the return of last season’s scoring machine Karan Pal Singh, who, surrounded with the right ingredients, can prove to be the difference maker yet again. Other names worth mentioning are former India shooting guard Ranbir Singh, and Punjab’s seasoned centre Gagandeep Singh. The coaching staff will be led by former India junior coach PC Antony from Kerala. With a squad of such proven credentials, anything short of a maiden finals appearance will be considered a disappointment.

League Stages W-L Record from Season 1: 0-6

Last Result: 73-100 loss to Delhi Capitals in the league stages

8. Punjab Steelers

Punjab Steelers

Division: North

  1. GURVINDER “GARRY” GILL
  2. SARTAJ SINGH SANDHU
  3. Kuldeep TITA SINGH
  4. PULKIT SOOD
  5. KAUSHAL
  6. MANOJ R
  7. SANDEEP AHLAWAT
  8. ABHIJITH
  9. KESHAV
  10. SAGAR J
  11. RAJESH
  12. AMRIT PAL SINGH
  13. SUNNY THOMAS- COACH
  14. SRINIVAS- COACH

Who cannot love Punjab! The land of five rivers keeps churning out one athletic baller after another. Size. Strength. Speed. Resilience. Punjab has it all. Season 1 saw them finishing in the final four, with Ravi Bhardwaj named season 1 MVP. Bhardwaj won’t return this year however, and in his absence small forward Sartaj Sandhu will look to take on the leadership mantle. Returning to the side is arguably the most promising player of the league, Gurvinder “Garry” Gill. The 20 year old, approx 6ft 7 inch power forward, is already on the senior Indian men’s team, and boy oh boy, can’t we wait to see his trademark two handed throwdowns. Mess with #PunjabPower at your own risk! Probably the most unpredictable franchise this year, all bets are off when it comes to this Northern team helmed by a coach from down south.

League Stages W-L Record from Season 1: 4-2

Last Result: 77-92 loss to Chennai Slam in the semis

Gopalakrishnan R
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