Team Hamamatsu, champions of the 3×3 Road to Mexico. (L to R) Palpreet Singh Brar, Kiran Shastri, Inderbir Gill, Bikramjit Gill. Image credits: 3x3BL

Gurugram, 17th September 2017: Team Hamamatsu, Japan has been crowned champions of the ‘3×3 Road to Mexico’ that concluded a short while ago at the Ambience Mall in Gurugram. As winners, apart from a cash prize of INR 4,00,000/- Hamamatsu have won an all expenses paid trip to participate in the FIBA 3×3 World Tour – Mexico City from 30th September to 1st October 2017.

The tournament was organized by YKBK Enterprise Pvt Ltd, as a showcase event for the international 3×3 Pro Basketball League ‘3BL’ that is slated to launch in India next year.

The final round of the dunk contest was also held with Dmitry ‘Smoove’ Krivenko of Ukraine winning over the crowd with some spectacular aerial acrobatics.

 

Final – Hamamatsu bt Yokohama 20-19

Bikramjit Gill of Hamamatsu in the finals of the 3×3 Road to Mexico. Image credits: 3x3BL

The final game of the tournament lived up to the glamour and excitement that has been served up by the tournament over the last two days, with Hamamatsu prevailing 20 – 19. The game began in spectacular fashion, with Palpreet Singh hitting two 3 pointers in the first minute and a half. Kiran Shastri kept the momentum going and he was doing it all in the game, knocking down threes and hustling relentlessly. Despite their efforts, Yokohama was leading 15 – 14 when Chris Brown knocked down a dagger from beyond the arc to extend the lead to three points. Then Hamamatsu took over again: Kiran Shastri backed down against his defender and scored over him, before Inderbir tied the game up with a 2-pointer. Things went awry when the ref called a technical, allowing Yokohama to go up 19 – 18. But Bikramjit took the lead with an and-1 play, and Hamamatsu managed to hold on to the lead to take the title.

 

Semifinal 1–Hamamatsu bt Tsukuba 21 – 16

Hamamatsu beat Tsukuba in a competitive semifinal that ended 21 – 14. Tsukuba started the game well, playing aggressively. On the first few possessions, they used their speed to beat Hamamatsu’s big men to the basket, and Hamamatsu struggled to keep up with Tsukuba’s guards. Eventually, Palpreet got Hamamatsu going with a couple of blocks and dunks. The momentum started to shift and Hamamatsu began to impose themselves on the game. Kiran Shastri continued his marvelous shooting form in the tournament, and Bikram finished the game off strong at the rim.

 

Semifinal 2 – Yokohama v Ludhiana Basketball Academy 21 – 14

The second semi-final was touted as the battle of the bigs, with Yokohama taking on Ludhiana Basketball Academy. Satnam Singh had had an easy run in the tournament so far, dominating the paint, but Yokohama made it tough for him to receive the ball in the paint. That forced Amjyot and TJ Sahi to attempt outside shots, and their offensive production did not match their output of previous games. At half time, Yokohama were leading 11-7 with 5 minutes to go. Gurvinder Singh Gill checked in for Satnam Singh and played with a lot of heart. He drove to the basket often, finishing strongly. But eventually, the sheer strength and physicality of the Yokohama team helped them clinch a berth in the finals.

Quarterfinal 1 – Hamamatsu v Sri Lanka President’s Team 21-17

Inderbir Gill of Hamamatsu looks to lay it in. Image credits: 3x3BL

Hamamatsu beat Sri Lanka 21 – 17 in the first quarter final of the day. Palpreet Singh Brar got off to a quick start, knocking down a 3 and making a block at the three point line. But Sri Lanka continued their gutsy showing from last night and clawed back. Both teams had raced to 11 – 9 after only 3 minutes, and Hamamatsu’s narrow lead looked vulnerable. But Kiran Shastri put on another shooting clinic from beyond the arc, allowing Inderbir Singh Gill to drive to the basket and draw the defense, before kicking the ball out for the open shot. Sri Lanka was in the game right till the end, only trailing by 18-17 with 4 minutes left. But Shastri’s shooting proved to be the difference as Hamamatsu booked their place in the semi-finals.

 

Quarterfinal 2 –Tsukuba v Delhi All-Stars 21-10

Arshdeep Singh of Tsukuba secures the rebound. Image credits: 3x3BL

The Delhi All-Stars put in a promising performance in their loss during the group stages, but struggled to get going early in the game as they were closely guarded by the Tsukuba team. Tsukuba raced to a huge lead, but their intensity on defence eventually slackened. That gave Delhi the room to drive to the basket and find the open shots, as they began to draw close. At that juncture, Tanaka of Tsukuba stepped up his game, hitting some crucial 3’s and driving to the basket. Yokohama finished the game 21-10 with a flurry of three pointers and strong moves in the paint.

 

Quarterfinal 3 –Yokohama v Malaysia National Team 22 – 12

Leandro Souza De Lima of Yokohama with the fancy reverse layup. Image credits: 3x3BL

The third quarterfinal of the day was a matchup between the size of Yokohama and the speed of Malaysia National Team. Both teams struggled to score fluently, and Yokohama held a narrow 7-6 lead with 6 minutes left. But a minute and a half later, Malaysia National Team had already racked up 7 fouls, forcing them to back off on defense. Masahiko Ando went down clutching his ankle, but the big men of Yokohama took charge and finished the game 22 – 12 with only 5 seconds left on the clock. “It was a tough game, we were smaller than them. But we played an amazing game,” said Fong Yen Yee of Malaysia NT.

Quarterfinal 4 – Ludhiana Basketball Academy v SPC Club 16-13

Amjyot Singh Gill of LBA blocks Nikhil Dahiya of the SPC Club. Image credits: 3x3BL

The final quarterfinal of the day saw Ludhiana BA beat SPC Club 16 – 13. SPC Club were outsized by Ludhiana BC at every position, and Satnam Singh used his presence in the paint to power Ludhiana’s offense early in the game. As he began to tire, SPC Club managed to find their way to the basket and stay in the game. But the result was never in doubt, as Amjyot Singh threw down two powerful dunks and Ludhiana held on to win by 3 points. “We will try to reach the finals and play my old teammates on Hamamatsu,” said Amjyot Singh Gill of Ludhiana BA.

 

Results

Final: Hamamatsu bt Yokohama 20 – 19

SF1: Hamamatsu bt Tsukuba 21 – 16

SF2: Yokohama bt Ludhiana Basketball Academy 21 – 14

QF1: Hamamatsu bt Sri Lanka 21 – 17

QF2: Tsukuba bt Delhi All – Stars 21 – 10

QF3: Yokohama bt Malaysia National Team 22 – 12

QF4: Ludhiana BA bt SPC Club 16 – 13

Team Ekalavyas
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