A. Joseph Antony
HYDERABAD: The National Basketball League will be launched at three centres — Ludhiana, Chennai and Bangalore — from the end of October till November-end over the weekends, according to Norman Isaac, Commissioner, FIBA (Federation International de Basketball).
He told The Hindu here the three centres had been chosen on account of the indoor courts available.
Ludhiana, for instance, had a concrete court, but with a taraflex surface, while the Tamil Nadu Basketball Association owned the JJ Indoor stadium at Kilpauk, fitted with wooden flooring as also the Kanteerava Stadium, Bangalore.
Services, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Indian Railways would compete in the first edition, open only to men as of now, Isaac said.
These teams qualified on the basis of their placings in the 58th senior National basketball championships held in Puducherry in December last year.
Matches will be played over the weekends on a home-and-away basis.
The teams will be stationed as follows: Ludhiana: Uttarakhand, Punjab; Chennai: Tamil Nadu and Indian Railways; Bangalore: Karnataka and Services.
The top two teams from the double league will play a best-of-three-game final.
Each team can have a maximum of two foreign players. The Basketball Federation of India (BFI) is considering suggestions from Bucan Alexander, the Serbian coach, to have two junior (under-18 years) players in the team and to restrict those over 35 to two.
Going by the success of the men’s league, another competition would be launched for women too.
The BFI Secretary-General, Harish Sharma, was actively pursuing sponsorship and telecast deals to carry the project forward, Isaac added.