Basketball IPL style in Sri Lanka | Sunday Observer

Basketball IPL style in Sri Lanka

SLBA Secretary Dr Chula Senaratne and NOC President Suresh Subramanium receiving the League tournament Mobitel platinum sponsorship
SLBA Secretary Dr Chula Senaratne and NOC President Suresh Subramanium receiving the League tournament Mobitel platinum sponsorship

Rupees one million will be given away to the winners at the inaugural ‘SLBL’ Sri Lanka Basketball League 2019 that will begin on May 2 at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium. This event will attract Sri Lanka’s finest cager talent including future stars in the age groups between 18 to 23 years.

Another attractive feature in the tournament is that the six teams that will participate will have six different franchise sponsors. The participating teams are Jaffna Crabs, Batticaloa Sunrise, Colombo Warriors, Galle Express, Kandy Kings and Gampaha Jets.

“This is a day that we were dreaming of and this SLBL will always give a big boost to the game and more value to the players,” said Chandana Liyanage the Vice President of SLBF.

The Sri Lanka Basketball Federation (SLBF) has partnered with Mobitel to create the best possible experience for players and fans during the upcoming games. Mobitel is the platinum sponsor for this inaugural SLBL while several co-sponsors have already confirmed their support to make this tournament a success.

For the first time in the history of the sport, all the top-tier players in the domestic circle will be nudged with professionalism in the sport. They will be paid their value together with the coaches.

The base price for the players will be decided by the organizing committee after evaluating their players. The organizing committee will rank the players in ascending order after which a minimum and a maximum base price will be set.

The teams that will qualify for the league finals will play another three matches between them to be crowned as the champions of the SLBL. A total of 40 matches will be played within a span of six consecutive weeks. Rupees one million will be awarded to the winners while there will be cash prizes for the runner-up team as well. “A professional league was highly overdue and the players needed recognition and remunerated for their talent and our plan is to bring the best basketball players in Sri Lanka, every year, together to compete in the SLBL Championship,” said Liyanage.

“The Sri Lanka Basketball Federation proudly completes 102 years of services and also believes that it has provided many social benefits during these long years generating communities, fostering friendships and reducing anti-social behaviour.

“With a strong community base of 12,000 island-wide and 126 schools actively participating in the sport, basketball has found its lost glory, becoming one of the fastest growing sports in Sri Lanka.

With recent development success in the shorter format ‘3x3 basketball’ secured a World Cup slot in 2016 being one of the only Olympic team sport to represent Sri Lanka in a World Cup,” noted Liyanage.

Basketball in Sri Lanka has already achieved recognition at international level and expected to go forward. The U-18 boys’ team defeated Asian heavyweights Japan and the girls qualified for the Asia Cup Championship.

Two under-18 girls have been ranked World Number 1 and 2 respectively. The women’s team won Gold in the inaugural South Asian Championship and the men savoured their feat as South Asian Champions in 2018, highlighting the efforts of all stakeholders.