The UBA game has become faster than ever. Just watch the speed of guards like Agu of the Chennai Slam, Prudhvi of the Mumbai Challengers, Akhilesh of the Punjab Steelers, Loveneet of the Bengaluru Beast and Himanshu Sharma of the Haryana Gold. They are as fast as any guards in the country and possibly on the continent. Their speed has been a challenge for opposing defenses and that speed has allowed teammates to shine.
Motion offenses along with the drive-and-dish mentality has made UBA teams better than ever. During Season 2, no team embraced the true “team” mentality more than the Delhi Capitals. They put together the best record in the regular season and along the way had all 12 players on their roster score in one game, then 11 of the 12 score their next time out. Vinay Kaushik earned MVP honors, not because he was the highest scoring player in the league, but because he led the one team that truly had a team-first approach which led to the Season 2 UBA Championship.
Then in Season 3, Delhi decided to essentially stand pat, returning 11 of their 12 players who won a title. The rest of the league not only caught up, but passed the Capitals, by not just adding new players, but by committing to a team-first approach. Delhi wound up missing the playoffs in Season 3, while the Haryana Gold, which was winless in Season 2, improved to the point where the Gold not only beat eventual champion Chennai in the regular season, but Haryana reached the league semi finals in the post-season.
No player may have emphasized the importance of playing for “team” over “self” more than Agu of the Slam. The game of the Chennai guard evolved to the point where Agu became more of a true point guard, using his speed to help teammates get open shots and layups, along with using his speed and leaping ability to grab rebounds and steals. Agu has played in all three seasons of the UBA and set a career high in scoring in the game against Haryana in Season 3 with 27 points. That was the only game the Slam lost during the regular season. Agu matched that 27 point total in Game 2 of the Championship Final series. Game 2 was the only game Chennai lost in the entire post-season.
Scoring points is always important, but forcing defenses to try to cover more than one player is what leads to winning.
Better players combined with better basketball has helped the UBA become a better league. Each of the league’s eight teams have many reasons to believe they will be in position to compete for the championship in Season 4. The way each has played and improved is proof that feeling is true.