CEO of the Elite Pro Basketball League, Sunny Bhandarkar, insists the three-on-three tournament looks to provide good facilities for players to take India higher in the world standings
Sunny Bhandarkar, The Elite Pro 3x3 League logo
Sunny Bhandarkar, CEO of the Elite Pro Basketball League and the Elite Women’s Pro Basketball League, insists the tournament to be conducted in a three-on-three format focuses on providing players a good level of competition and good level of provisions to make them feel part of a big tournament.
EP3L is a three-on-three basketball tournament taking place from September 28 to October 1 in Noida, organised by the elite pro basketball league and the Elite women's pro basketball league.
The men's league will have a total of 16 teams with a total of six players per team while the women’s league will have six teams. The format of the league will divide the teams into four pools for the men’s league, out of which two teams will qualify on the basis of a round-robin to the quarter-finals. The leaders of the pools will then head into knockout rounds for the coveted trophy. The women's league will be divided into two pools. The top four teams will then compete in the knockouts.
Mumbai Stars, Pune Pythons, Jaipur Giants, Kochi Pachers, Chandigarh Conquerors, Hyderabad Hoops, Lucknow Swarm, Chennai Turbos, Punjab Gladiators, Ahmedabad Aces, Delhi Dominators, Bengaluru Stallions, Nagpur Knights, Goa Waves, Surat Diamonds and Eastern Tigers constitute the men’s league. While the women’s league will include Mumbai Starlets, Delhi Wildcats, Kolkata Victory, Chennai Chargers, Chandigarh Dreams and Bengaluru Blings.
When asked about the ambitions of EP3L, Bhandarkar said it was for the players. “This is something we're doing for the players. This is not for the crowd, for the audience. We did not do this from a perspective of making money, getting sponsors. It was to make the players feel like they are part of something bigger. Usually when they play tournaments, it's outdoors, on cement flooring, they have mismatched uniforms. So, we want them to know the level of competition, the level of provisions we have for them so that they also get the motivation to play better. And that will help the Indian team to rise on the global forefront as well,” Bhandarkar told mid-day.
Talking about the viewership expectations for the tournament, Bhandarkar said, “We haven’t done a three-on-three [tournament] yet, so, we will have to see the numbers [for interest], but we do know there is a cult following of three-on-three right now in India. And we're definitely doing it because we think it can go to the level we want it to go. Not right now, but in the future, we are sure to see a lot of success with celebrities’s involvement and with us coming up as a league, that will definitely bring viewership.”