(Bengaluru Kings humbled at home as Chennai Heats Beat the Kings 91-74 )
Bengaluru, Sunday 15th, 2022: Headstart Arena India (HAI), – has successfully completed its inaugural Indian National Basketball League (INBL) 5×5 season. INBL 2022 was played across three rounds of intense league action in three different venues-Kochi, Pune and Delhi -before making their way to the playoff – Finals in Bengaluru. The finals was held in the Sree Kanteerava Stadium with all the pomp and pageantry with the Honourable Governor of Karnataka Sri. Thaawarchand Gehlot in attendance to facilitate the players with awards.
The Finals was played against the Chennai Heats and the Home team Bengaluru Kings. The exciting southern derby was played in two legs with Chennai Heat comfortably taking both the games with the aggregate score of 183 – 151. M. Arvind Kumar from Chennai Heat was adjudged MVP of the season 2022-23 and the MVP was awarded a Rs.50,000 and an Oben Electric bike.
HAI was appointed by The Basketball Federation of India (BFI) and launched The INBL in November 2021 with substantial investment from Rupinder Brar, Chairman of HAI and a group of investors, with the purpose to increase the popularity of basketball in India and improve the standards in Indian basketball. The INBL, more seen as a concept, and not as a mere cluster of competitions, is a comprehensive, holistic basketball project encompassing all formats of the game involving multiple age groups right from the grassroots.
The first set of INBL competitions was held successfully between March-May 2022 with the conduct of the INBL 3×3 Season 1 held in 20 cities across India involving more than 9000 players in four categories – Men, Women, U18 Men, U18 Women. The champions of the INBL 3×3 National Finals, held in May 2022, went on to become the first all-Indian roster to participate in a FIBA 3×3 World Tour event. The quartet that was the INBL 3×3 National U18 champions were exactly the foursome that comprised the Indian National U18 team that won the historic silver medal at the FIBA 3×3 U18 Championship in October last year.
This competition helped raise India’s ranking on the world stage as measured by FIBA, the international body.
This season’s 5×5 championship alone has seen substantial investment in organising the event in four different cities, together with close to 40 lakhs rupees in prize money. The teams represented six cities Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Kochi – the players coming from their surrounding areas representing the top talent in India.
Rupinder Brar, Chairman and Director, INBL said: “We are pleased to be working with BFI to launch this great initiative. A great opportunity for the top talent in India to have a platform to showcase their ability against well matched opposition. This is the second initiative we have promoted, after running a very successful 3×3 tournament earlier this year, with unprecedented representation. We hope to continue helping to develop the sport at all levels and ultimately help India compete at a higher level on the world stage.
Dushyant Khanna, Director INBL said: “Bringing a new Basketball era to India and great development of Indian talent makes it a unique proposition for Indian basketball. It’s great to see that our group investment come to life with so much great competition. We will continue to do this and hopefully attract some other partners for this great journey”
Headstart Arena India brings in the international experience and the passion for basketball with the sole aim to revolutionizing and to bring Indian basketball to the world stage. At the Helm of HAI, Parveen Batish who brings in the international expertise and the pure passion to help Indian basketball and provide the Indian talent a stage to realise their talents through INBL. Parveen Batish said: “I have been really impressed with the level of competition we have had through this competition. We are on a journey to discover talent and this is just the start. We thank our sponsors Punvec, Konze, Vedanta Sesa Goa for supporting our vision and making this season possible.”
Oben Electric bike was gifted to the MVP by Mr Pratik Gauri, Founder & CEO of 5ire, a sustainable Blockchain Unicorn Company. On this occasion Gauri commented “we at 5ire share the collective vision of the Honourable PM Modi’s “Khelega India, Badega India”
Headstart Arena India (more info on the company) HEADSTART (HAI) has been put together for the sole purpose of running National Basketball Leagues across both 3×3 and 5×5 games. HAI has been awarded a 5-year licence (+5- year option) by the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) to run, promote and monetise 3×3 and 5×5 national competitions in India, for both men and women. HAI has also been tasked to promote basketball in India and drive participation at all levels and discipline – players, coaches, officials and administrators.