The journey - as it usually is with Indian sports - wasn't easy, and threatened to unravel into disaster as, less than 10 days before the beginning of the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon (Korea), the fate of India's basketball (and a few other sports) teams hung in the balance. Luckily for the Indian athletes and hoop lovers back home, the turmoil finally ended last week and India's Men's and Women's Senior basketball squads were confirmed to participate at the basketball tournament in Incheon, set to be held from September 20 - October 4.
The 17th Asian Games - or the XVII Asiad - will be held in Incheon from September 19 - October 4, 2014. A total of 439 events from 36 sports and disciplines set to feature in the Games. The basketball tournament at the Games will be held at the Samsan World Gymnasium and the Hwaseong Sports Complex.
India's Men's Basketball team at the 17th Asian Games
- Joginder Singh
- Narender Kumar Grewal
- Akilan Pari
- Prakash Mishra
- Pratham Singh
- Vishesh Bhriguvanshi
- Amrit Pal Singh (Captain)
- Prasanna Venkatesh Sivakumar
- Palpreet Singh Brar
- Amjyot Singh
- Yadwinder Singh
- Rikin Shantilal Pethani
- Head Coach: Scott Flemming
- Coach: Prasad Rama Linga
- Physiotherapist: Naved Hameed
Asian Games Men's Basketball Groups
- Qualifying Round Group A: Mongolia, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Maldives.
- Qualifying Round Group B: Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Palestine, India.
- Preliminary Round Group C: China, Chinese Taipei, B2.
- Preliminary Round Group D: South Korea, Jordan, A2.
- Preliminary Round Group E: Iran, Philippines, B1.
- Preliminary Round Group F: Japan, Qatar, A1.
India's Men's Qualifying Round Schedule - all timings IST
- September 20 - 12:45 PM - India vs. Palestine.
- September 21 - 12:45 PM - India vs. Saudi Arabia.
- September 22 - 12:45 PM - Kazakhstan vs. India.
My Prediction: At the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou (China), India's Men finished winless, losing all five of their games. This year, circumstances and groupings are different and India should be able to notch a couple of Qualifying Round victories. India will have to use the first two games against Palestine and Saudi Arabia as their 'preparatory' games before their biggest early challenge against Kazakhstan. The Kazakhs are known to be tall and athletic, but I feel that this Indian side has enough confidence and talent now to beat them and top Group B. Unfortunately, they will have to go against Iran and Philippines in the Preliminary Round then, and only another miracle (like our win over China two months ago) will be able to see India survive for the Quarter-Finals.
India's Women's Basketball team at the 17th Asian Games
- Akanksha Singh
- Kavita Akula
- Kruthika Lakshman
- Kavita Kumari
- Poojamol KS
- Raspreet Sidhu
- Prashanti Singh
- Smruthi Radhakrishnan (Captain)
- Jeena PS
- Stephy Nixon
- Head Coach: Francisco Garcia
- Coach: Divya Singh
- Physiotherapist: Rajesh Chavan
Asian Games Women's Basketball Seedings
- Qualifying Round: Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Qatar.
- Final Round: China, South Korea, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, India.
My Prediction: India's Women were also winless at the 2010 Asian Games, going 0-3 in the tournament. By being seeded in the final round this year and starting in the Quarter-Final, India are ensured at least a top 8 finish. India's chances of winning that quarter-final against Japan are low since the Japanese are the reigning FIBA Women's champions. If they lose, they will have to face against other Quarter-Final losers in the 5th-8th tournament, where their biggest challenger will probably be Thailand. India proved last year that they were ready to cement their position as Asia's fifth-best women's team after the big four of China, Chinese Taipei, Korea and Japan, and I expect them to be good enough for fifth-place again this time around.