Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], March 21 (ANI): Indian national team player Raspreet Sidhu-led Delhi Divas have been crowned champions of the 3BL Women's League 2022. '3BL'. Raspreet Sidhu was named Most Valuable Player (MVP). The third season of 3BL is being played here at the Hotel Wyndham.
The two favourites in the competition defending champions Kochi Stars starring Indian team centre Stephy Nixon and Delhi Divas helmed by former Indian team captain Raspreet Sidhu faced off in the finals as expected.
Coming into the finale Round 6, these teams (Delhi - 3; Kochi - 2) had won all five preliminary round titles between them.
The Kochi-Delhi rivalry has been the key storyline in the Women's League so far, with their head-to-head results locked at 3-3.
The finals expectedly saw a clash of contrasting styles, with Stars reliant on controlling the paint through Nixon, while Divas showcased their all-round game led by a pestering defence. After a scrappy first few minutes, the decisive moment came with the scores tied at 7-7. Delhi wrested control of the pace of the game, succeeding in forcing Kochi into playing a faster tempo. In the process, Delhi built up a four-point 11-7 lead which they never relinquished, for a hard-fought 17-14 victory.
For her overall performance, Sidhu was named the Most Valuable Player of the finals.
"I have no words. It is such an emotional moment. The last two years have been tough on all of us, but it was the toughest for me....[because] I think I was giving up. To be a leader, it's not easy, but to be believed a leader by your team is the most difficult thing, and I think they [my teammates] are my leaders," an emotional Sidhu said after receiving the MVP award.
"On behalf of all the players here from the Women's League, I take the opportunity to thank [3BL Commissioner] Mr Rohit Bakshi & Ms Prerna Sharma Bakshi [3BL Director] to give all the young girls a platform. This [3BL] is what India needs. We need a stage to showcase our talent."
"We have six teams now [in the Women's League], we will have twelve teams in the next season," Ms Prerna Sharma, 3BL Director, highlighted during the post-game ceremony.
By virtue of being the 3BL Women's League Champion team, Delhi Divas has been selected to represent India in the first-ever ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) 3x3 Cup 2022 to be held in Bali, Indonesia on 16-17 April. The ABL 3x3 Cup is classified as a FIBA 'Lite Quest' competition that in turn serves as a qualifying tournament for a FIBA 'Challenger' event. (ANI)