Slated to begin early February, league managers postponed the third season of the BPL season for a few weeks as the Corona Virus situation in Singapore worsened during that period. Other established Amateur leagues in the country, GBC, FastBreak League etc, suspended their Spring 2020 seasons indefinitely, leaving both Entourage Basketball Inc. teams in a bit of a bind. E.B.I maintained a weekly practice rhythm, utilising alternate venues due to the usual school courts being off-limits to outsiders. The Spring 2020 Basketball season was in limbo.
Surprisingly, BPL-Founder Noel Pollock was then able to secure cooperation from the German European International School, BPL’s venue, leading to the regular season commencing early March. Access is tightly regulated with Teams having minimal contact between games and temperature checks and contact tracing/Travel-Forms being mandatory precautions to even be able to set foot on campus.
One Team dropped out, quickly to be replaced by established squad, Hoops Factory. Unlike previous seasons, BPL separated teams into 2 Divisions, with EntourageBBall Inc. featured in stronger Division 1. Season 2 Champs Titans as well as old Rivals, Proform Basketball were familiar foes there. Rounding up Div-1 were new squads, Team Loaded and the aforementioned last minute addition, Hoops Factory.
The Season Two runner-ups know they have some catching up to do, integrating 5 new players into the squad while losing vital players Arnaut, Raf and stalwart big Man, Jean Baptiste, in the offseason.
E.B.I lost the regular season Opener 80-95 against a resurgent Proform team, who took some measure of satisfaction in avenging their Playoff semi-final loss to the Men-In-Green, the previous season. Trailing by 10 in a high scoring first quarter, 24 – 34, player/coach Dave’s team lost their composure after some questionable non-calls by the shaky refs, leading to Top-scorer and semipro, Jerel being ejected from the game. This loss of focus cost the team dearly as Proform ran away with the second quarter, 25 – 12. The rest, as they say, was history.
The team needs to play with more urgency as the 10-Game regular season features evenly matched foes. Seems BPL’s like Division 1 is already living up to it’s potential as one of the more competitive Basketball contests in the country.
BPL Regular Season, Game 3 (of 10)
E.B.I. vs Cut Gym
Sunday, 22.03.20 @ GESS
All images by James Koh, @jameskxj