• Vinay Kaushik from Delhi Capitals named Season 2 Most Valuable Player (MVP)
  • All UBA Teams 1 & 2 announced
  • Former NBA Champion Joe Courtney also present
  • Game 1 of best-of-three finals between Chennai Slam (South Division) vs Delhi Capitals (North Division) will tip off from 7:00 pm onwards today at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium. This will be followed by Game 2 at 7:00 pm on 2nd April, and Game 3, the following day (if necessary).
Season 2 MVP Vinay Kaushik with former NBA Champion Joe Courtney.

Season 2 MVP Vinay Kaushik with former NBA Champion Joe Courtney.

Hyderabad, 1st April 2016: At a press conference earlier this afternoon at the Taj Deccan hotel in the city, the United Basketball Alliance (UBA) leadership have declared the All UBA first and second teams, and the Season MVP.

With the regular season having ended, and the first of the best-of-three finals between Chennai Slam and Delhi Capitals to be played later this evening, the UBA team took the opportunity to announce Vinay Kaushik from Delhi Capitals as Season 2 MVP.

The UBA officials at the press meet included Mr Todd Mack (Managing Director), Mr Michael Yanke (Chief Marketing Officer), Mr Jody Basye (Coaching Director), Mr Steve Graham (Executive Producer), Mr Paul Crane (Director of Broadcasting), Mr Praveen Reddy (Vice President-Operations) and former NBA champion Mr Joe Courtney. Mr Courtney, a 6ft 8 power forward from the University of Southern Mississippi and Mississippi State University, was a member of the legendary Michael Jordan led Chicago Bulls team when it claimed its first ‘three-peat’ in the 1992-93 NBA season.

Said Mr Courtney, “I would like to thank the UBA- all the people that made it happen, from the coaches, to the management and production teams. I give thanks to the game of basketball for allowing us the opportunity to be here today. Basketball crosses all lines- male, female, colours, generations. I would like to thank the dedication of the players and their passion and love, to be able to share their gift with us. [Now with the UBA] We are fortunate to have a good foundation and structure for basketball in India.”

Members of the Delhi Capitals (left) and Chennai Slam (right) teams before their best-of-three finale clash later this evening.

Members of the Delhi Capitals (left) and Chennai Slam (right) teams before their best-of-three finale clash later this evening.

Speaking about the significance of UBA Season 2 and the journey ahead, Mr Yanke said, “We are so happy to bring Season 2 of the UBA to you. One of the accomplishments of Season 2 is that we brought live basketball for the first time in India. Where are going, the sky is truly the limit. We want to continue to improve, not just the players, but all of us behind the scenes. We want this League to be the absolute best.”

All UBA Teams 1 & 2

Mr Crane announced the All-UBA first and second team as follows:

First Team All-UBA

VINAY KAUSHIK, #30 Delhi Capitals

CHUKWUNANU AGU, #1 Chennai Slam

SIDDHANTH SHINDE, #15 Pune Peshwas

GAGANDEEP SINGH, #56 Mumbai Challengers

NARENDER GREWAL, #25 Pune Peshwas

Second Team All-UBA

MAHESH PADMANABHAN, #2 Hyderabad Sky

RAGHURAM, #21 Bengaluru Beast

AKILAN PARI, #20 Punjab Steelers

GOPAL RAM, #31 Chennai Slam

JAGDEEP BAINS, #6 Mumbai Challengers

Honourable Mentions

GARRY, #1 Punjab Steelers

SOMVEER, #34 Bengaluru Beast

ASHUTOSH, #5 Chennai Slam

NIKHIL, #24 Mumbai Challengers

RANBIR, #9 Mumbai Challengers

HIMANSHU SHARMA, #17 Haryana Gold

KAIF ZIA, #46 Bengaluru Beast

VISU PALANI, #8 Bengaluru Beast

EDWIN, #27 Hyderabad Sky

AMRIT PAL SINGH, #12 Punjab Steelers

MVP award presentation

As this Season’s MVP, Kaushik was presented with the keys of a Hyosung GT 250R Sports Bike provided by Sheng Li Tel. The bike and MVP trophy will be handed over after the Championship finale.

Elated by the recognition, Kaushik said in his acceptance speech, “It’s really great. I have no words to say. Thank you to UBA for making it possible for me. I would like to thank my parents for making me reach here.”

“My favourite moment came from the playoffs against Mumbai. The second match of the playoffs was the best. My team trusts me a lot and give me a lot of confidence.”

From L to R- UBA Leadership team of Paul Crane, Praveen Reddy, Steve Graham, Joe Courtney, Michael Yanke, Todd Mack and Jody Basye.

From L to R- UBA Leadership team of Paul Crane, Praveen Reddy, Steve Graham, Joe Courtney, Michael Yanke, Todd Mack and Jody Basye.

Describing the achievements of Vinay Kaushik this season, the UBA leadership team noted:

Vinay Kaushik led the Delhi Capitals in scoring, averaging 18.7 points per game, which was the fifth highest average in all the UBA, but Vinay did so much more than just score. He led the league’s most balanced offense which clearly put “team success” above “individual statistics.” It is no coincidence the Capitals finished with the best record in the league (6-1) and have made their way to the Championship Finals.

When Delhi found itself in its tightest game, against the Haryana Gold on 23 March in Hyderabad, Vinay was not having a big scoring night. The game was tied 66-66 and with time running out it was Vinay who scored the game winning basket as the final buzzer sounded. A leader who never wilted under pressure turned what could have been an off night in to one of the most memorable moments of the season.

Then in the playoffs after losing Game 1 of the North Division series to the Mumbai Challengers, the Capitals were facing elimination each of the next two games. When Mumbai took a six-point lead to the 4th quarter of Game 2 and built that lead to ten points, it looked like the Capitals’ season might come to an end… until Vinay Kaushik willed his team to a win. Vinay scored 15 points in the 4th quarter alone, including his making six straight free throws, he had 21 points in the game, as Delhi won 72-61 to force a decisive Game 3. 

With a trip to the championship finals at stake in Game 3, it was another close game in to the final quarter where Vinay not only scored seven critical points but had a game-changing blocked shot with 3:00 to play. Despite playing with four fouls, Vinay’s athletic, leaping-while-running-from-behind block shifted all the momentum to the Capitals. Vinay finished with 16 points in a 78-69 win that lifted the Delhi Capitals to the UBA Championship series.

Vinay Kaushik’s play throughout the season and in the playoffs has earned him the UBA’s Most Valuable Player Award.

UBA's Chief Marketing Officer Michael Yanke addresses the gathering as former NBA Champion Joe Courtney looks on.

UBA’s Chief Marketing Officer Michael Yanke addresses the gathering as former NBA Champion Joe Courtney looks on.

About the UBA Pro Basketball League

The UBA Pro Basketball League is structured on a league cum knockout basis. Season 2 is being held in two phases: 18 to 28 Feb in Pune (Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex) followed by 23 March to 3 April in Hyderabad (Gachibowli Stadium). There are eight teams in total divided into two divisions: Pune Peshwas, Delhi Capitals, Haryana Gold, Punjab Steelers (North division) and Chennai Slam, Mumbai Challengers, Bengaluru Beast and Hyderabad Sky (South division).  Chennai Slam won the inaugural season last year with Pune Peshwas finishing second.

For more information, visit: www.ubaindia.in/. Facebook: www.facebook.com/ubaindia/. Twitter:  @ubaindia

About United Basketball Alliance India Pvt. Ltd.

The United Basketball Alliance (UBA India) is a next-generation sports branding company. Its main objective is to make sport brands mean something to their sport viewers. To do that, UBA helps brands connect with viewers by providing insight-driven ideas across all media platforms. With respect to its Pro Basketball League, UBA India has already secured primetime television broadcasting arrangements with the Ten Sports Network, and is securing corporate sponsorships for tournament play, and creating merchandising opportunities.

Gopalakrishnan R
Leave a reply

Leave a Reply