Pitting 16 of Asia’s top basketball playing nations against each other, the 26th FIBA Asia Basketball Championship (ABC) will be held in the city of Wuhan in China from September 15-25, 2011. Accomplished American coach Kenny Natt will be leading the 12-player contingent of India’s Sr. Men’s team as head coach into this prestigious tournament.
The Indian contingent will also consist of a coach, a trainer, and two FIBA referees for the tournament.
India, who finished 13th in the previous FIBA ABC (held in 2009), qualified for this year’s tournament after winning the Middle Asia Zone Qualifying Round against SAARC teams in mid-July in New Delhi. India are ranked 50th in the FIBA Rankings for Men.
This is the roster that will represent India at the 26th FIBA Asia Basketball Championship:
There are a few changes in this roster as compared to the won that handily destroyed Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the MAZ Qualifiers: both the team's veterans, starting point guard Sambhaji Kadam and experienced backup swingmen Riyazuddin will be missing out the FIBA ABC cut due to injuries. They have been replaced by Talwinderjit Singh 'TJ' Sahi, one of India's best/most explosive ball handlers, who is sure to start for the side, and by young big man from Gujarat, Dishant Shah, who got some experience at the international level in the Asian Games in China last month. The addition of Shah makes it four big youngsters for India, all under the age of 20, who will be at this tournament: the others are Amrit Pal Singh, Amjyot Singh, and 15 year old prodigy Satnam Singh Bhamara.
Lefty-swingmen Narender Grewal of Services was a last minute addition to the squad, replacing Eudrick Pereira
The squad will leave for China early next week, where they will participate in a practice tournament against China and Chinese Taipei club sides, before the 26th ABC begins on September 15th.
India has been placed in Group A at the championship, along with 2007 runners-up Lebanon, Malaysia, and Korea. Other teams participating in the tournament are: Qatar, Uzbekistan, Chinese Taipei, reigning champions Iran, Japan, Indonesia, Syria, Jordan, Philippines, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and hosts China.
Here is the Preliminary Round Schedule for India (All timings Local):
- 15 Sep 2011, Thursday, 8 PM: India vs. Lebanon (Hongshan)
- 16 Sep 2011, Friday, 6 PM: India vs. Malaysia (Hongshan)
- 17 Sep 2011, Saturday, 1:30 PM: India vs. Korea (Wuhan Sports Centre)
About 26th FIBA Asia Championship
Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province in China, will play host to 16 top teams from five different FIBA Asia sub-zones to identify the Champion men’s team of FIBA Asia.
The FIBA Asia Championship, played every two years, is the most important event in FIBA Asia involving the top men’s National Teams.
The 26th FIBA Asia Championship, also the qualifying event for the 2012 London Olympics, will be held from Sept 15-25 at Wuhan.
The champion team from Wuhan will directly qualify for the most significant sporting event at the British capital, while the No 2 and No 3 teams will qualify for the FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament.
The 26th FIBA Asia Championship is the fifth occasion when China will host this prestigious event – 1989 Beijing, 2001 Shanghai, 2003 Harbin and 2009 Tianjin are the earlier occasions.
All the necessary information for this championship will be available on its official website: http://wuhan2011.fibaasia.net