Eight months ago, Indian cagers, Amjyot Singh Gill and Amritpal Singh, had secured professional contracts with Tokyo Excellence, a team in the National Basketball Development League (NBDL) of Japan after putting up impressive performances in the BJ Challenge Summer League playing for the Hyogo Impulse team.

After creating history earlier in the year by becoming the first ever Indians to play professional basketball in Japan, Amjyot Singh, 6-foot-9 inch forward, and 7-foot centre Amritpal Singh had gone one step further from the BJ Challenge Summer League entering a more competitive season-long NBDL.

Fast forward to today

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Team Tokyo Excellence the Champions of the NBDL season 2015-16, only team to register three-peat in NBDL history.

Amjyot-Amritpal duo at Tokyo Excellence win 25 of their 36 games to stand 3rd in the regular season and go on to beat the top seeded Toyotsu Nagoya(32-4) in the finals to become the first ever team in the history of  NBDL to three-peat.

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Amjyot Singh (left) and Amritpal Singh (right) celebrate Tokyo Excellences’ Three-peat in their customized “Road to 3peat” Tees

In this process they faced the 2nd seed Otsuka Shoukai Alphas(26-10) in the Semi Finals fixture where the Amjyot-Amritpal duo truly shone.

Amjyot Singh had 17 points and 7 rebounds at a whopping 72.7 FG% in 25mins while Amritpal scored 10 points at 75FG % and 3 rebounds in 13mins.
Their efforts led team Tokyo Excellence to beat Otsuka Shoukai Alphas 84-73 which put them to battle in the finals where the Duo had 5pts, 5rebs and 4pts, 8rebs respectively.

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Now, it’s no secret that these young Indian lads have made their mark in Japan. Their growth through this single season alone has turned many heads in Japan. Opportunities await as the 3 major leagues (Basketball Japan League, National Basketball League and National Basketball Development league) in Japan are combining to make one big league from next season,  and Tokyo Excellence will be in the 2nd division league of that League.

This is just the beginning, right now Indian basketball is relatively unknown across India and the world, but Amjyot and Amritpal’s performance and growth in Japan has shown that India has the talent to compete against the top international players across Asia and the world. We are sure that they will continue to succeed and be trailblazers for the current and future generations of Indian players

Adarsh Rao
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