May 6, 2013

India's teams drawn in FIBA Asia 3x3 basketball tournaments in Doha and Bangkok

Years from now, 2013 will be remembered as a year of ‘firsts’ for 3x3 basketball, particularly in Asia, and specifically for our interest, in India. This was that the year when, for the first time, Indian states held their own 3x3 championships across the country. This was also the first year when India held national-level 3x3 basketball tournaments for Seniors (in Delhi) and for U18s (in Ludhiana).

And now, the inaugural FIBA Asia 3x3 basketball championships – featuring the best 3x3 basketball players from across the continent – will be held in both the Senior and U18 levels for Men and Women over the next month. The 1st FIBA Asia 3x3 Basketball Championship for Men & Women will be held in Doha (Qatar) from May 15-16. The 1st FIBA Asia 3x3 Basketball Championship for U18 Boys and Girls will be held in Bangkok (Thailand) from May 22-24.

India is participating in all divisions in both competitions.

On April 24 in Kuala Lampur (Malaysia), FIBA Asia held the draw for the inaugural edition of the 2013 events. Here are the results of the draw, via FIBA Asia 3x3:

1st FIBA Asia Championship for Men - May 15-16 (16 teams)
  • Group A: Mongolia, Qatar (Maroon), Philippines, Sri Lanka.
  • Group B: India, Indonesia, Turkmenistan, Iran.
  • Group C: Chinese Taipei, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Lebanon.
  • Group D: Japan, Qatar (Grey), Jordan, Hong Kong.
1st FIBA Asia Championship for Women - May 15-16 (10 teams)
  • Group A: Qatar (Maroon), Indonesia, Turkmenistan, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong.
  • Group B: Qatar Grey, India, Mongolia, Lebanon, Nepal.
1st FIBA Asia Championship for U18 Boys - May 22-24 (22 teams)
  • Group A: Jordan, Mongolia, India, China, Maldives
  • Group B: Turkmenistan, Indonesia, Qatar, Syria, Philippines, Chinese Taipei.
  • Group C: Hong Kong, Malaysia, Vietnam, Japan, Kazakhstan, Thailand 2.
  • Group D: Thailand 1, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Nepal, Macau.
1st FIBA Asia Championship for U18 Girls - May 22-24 (19 teams)
  • Group A: Turkmenistan, India, Jordan, Lebanon, Mongolia.
  • Group B: Philippines, Syria, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka.
  • Group C: Thailand 1, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Vietnam.
  • Group D: Macau, China, Indonesia, Maldives, Thailand 2.
Despite being minnows in many recent FIBA Asia Basketball tournaments, India has actually enjoyed quite a successful recent history in 3x3 competitions at Asia level. India's Men and Women both dominated the South Asian Beach Games in Sri Lanka two years ago, and more importantly, India's Women's team won gold at the 3rd Asian Beach Games in China against the hosts last year. India's finest Women's player Geethu Anna Jose spoke to FIBA in an interview recently and said that the Women's team goes in with a do-or-die attitude in this tournament. We hope the Men's teams - and the U18s - follow suit too.

Success (or at least respectful showings) in these tournaments will be a good stepping stone. But I hope our teams and federation doesn't forget the bigger, more important picture, which will be to improve the level of India's competitiveness across the board in the original 5x5 version of the game.

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