UBA Pro Basketball 2016: Season 2 promises to be bigger and better
The United Basketball Alliance Pro Basketball League, or the UBA as every knows it, is officially set to begin on February 18th. The players, coaches and all the administrators from the USA are ready to embark on yet another journey of frenetic and turbo-charged basketball that promises to take the sport to the next level in India.
After a successful first season in which all the games were held in Hyderabad, the second season of the tournament kicks off in Pune. The tournament is divided into two phases, and Phase-2 will see the players travel to Hyderabad where there will play the next set of games, which includes the playoffs.
There was an aura of excitement and enthusiasm when Paul Crane, an Emmy award-winning broadcaster who is representing the UBA Pro Basketball League, took to the stage to welcome the UBA’s second stint in Pune.
“The drama and theatre that sports can provide, there is nothing like it,” Paul said as he addressed the press.
“When you come to see the UBA in Pune, you will see great athletic competition with these great athletes doing at what they do so well. Anyone, young or old will have a great time when you come to the arena.”
The Pro Basketball League comprises of eight professional teams from different cities of India, and they will battle it out for two months to emerge as champions of season 2. The teams are divided into the north and south divisions, with four teams in each.
Punjab Steelers, Mumbai Challengers, Delhi Capitals and the Haryana Gold represent the north division, while Hyderabad Sky, Chennai Slam, Bengaluru Beast and Pune Peshwas represent the south division.
Chennai Slam are the defending champions of the league after winning the final against a strong Pune Peshwas side last year with a scoreline of 81-49.
“The team has been practising rigorously for a week and we are looking forward to the UBA this season. Our team is shaping up well so far,” Ram Kumar, one of the standout players in Chennai Slam’s team last year told Sportskeeda.
The second season of the UBA will go ‘live’ for the first time this season, and Ten Sports will be their official broadcasters. The matches will be spread across Ten Sports, Ten Action and Ten HD as the league is all set to get bigger this season.
The UBA Pro Basketball League is financially backed by US investors, and tickets to the Phase-1 matches to be held in Pune are going to be free of cost. The UBA are looking to create a foundation for basketball in India, and that is their primary motive as of now – without any financial obligations.
The league has been given a green light by the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) for the first time this year. Norman Isaac of the BFI will be the technical commissioner of the league.
18th February will see the league kick off when Punjab Steelers take on the Delhi Capitals first followed by the Mumbai Challengers vs Haryana Gold match. Noted Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty and five-time World Amateur Boxing champion Mary Kom will be gracing the opening ceremony at Pune’s Balewadi stadium.