July 22, 2016

Indian Senior Men’s Basketball team returns to the prestigious William Jones Cup in Taipei


Held since 1977, the William Jones Cup in Chinese Taipei is one of the most prestigious international basketball tournaments in Asia, an invitational championship that is both a source of pride and an important warm-up run for bigger FIBA Asia basketball events. After 11 long years, India Men's basketball team will finally make a return to the tournament this year.

Nine teams - a mix of international, clubs, and college - will take part in the 38th William Jones Cup International Basketball Tournament at the Hsinchuang Gymnasium in the city of Taipei from 23 to 31 July. The matches will be played in a round robin league format, with each team playing 8 matches. The team with the best record will be crowned champions.

This tournament will give India the opportunity to gain valuable exposure ahead of the 2016 FIBA Asia Challenge, which is set to be held in Iran next month. The Indian lineup remains largely unchanged from the team that won the SABA Qualifiers earlier this month in Bengaluru, except for the return of star forward Amjyot Singh and the inclusion of Tamil Nadu’s Prasanna Venkatesh. Amrit Pal Singh will again take the captain's mantle for India and will be joined in the flanks with star Vishesh Bhriguvanshi. The team will be coached by Sebastian Padipurakkal Joseph.

"Being a prestigious tournament, the Indian men’s team got an invitation from the Taipei Basketball Association," said K Govindraj, the President of the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) during the kit distribution ceremony at the Kanteerava Stadium Complex in Bengaluru earlier this afternoon on Thursday, "This will be excellent exposure for all our players who can correct themselves keeping in mind the upcoming FIBA Asia Challenge." Also present at the ceremony to convey his best wishes to the departing contingent was newly appointed Superintendent of Police & Director, Youth Empowerment & Sports Department, Bengaluru, Anupam Agarwal.

"It is going to be a great opportunity for us to prepare for the upcoming FIBA Asia Challenge," said Assistant Coach CV Sunny, "In all our positions, we have excellent depth and our chances are bright, so we can definitely put up a good fight against all the teams."

Participating Teams: Egypt, Iran, India, Japan, Korea, Mighty Sports (Philippines), California State University (USA), China, China B.

Indian Squad for the 38th William Jones Cup 2016
  • Arshpreet Singh Bhullar
  • Amjyot Singh
  • Vishesh Bhriguvanshi
  • Amrit Pal Singh Captain
  • Basil Philip
  • Rikin Pethani(
  • Aravind Annadurai
  • Arvind Arumugam
  • Ravi Bhardwaj
  • Akilan Pari
  • TJ Sahi
  • Prasanna Ventakesh
  • Head Coach: Sebastian Padipurakkal Joseph
  • Coach: CV Sunny
  • Physiotherapist: Navaneeth Atholi Thiruvoth
  • Manager: Chengalraya Naidu Talipinani

This is an impressive-looking Indian squad, and the addition of Amjyot can definitely help India achieve something special. Amjyot and India's captain Amrit Pal played last season for Japan D-League's Tokyo Excellence and helped guide them to a third-consecutive title. The last time Amjyot donned India colours, he was one of the top performers at the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship finishing among the top 5 in scorers (20 ppg), and among the top ten in rebounds (8.3 rpg), blocks (1.1 bpg), efficiency (+17.1), and freethrow percentage (73.1 FT%). India has an interesting core of youth (Ravi Bhardwaj, Arshpreet Bhullar) and experience (Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, Prasanna Venkatesh). Explosive point guard TJ Sahi continues his return to the national scene. Talented young big men like Rikin Pethani, Aravind Annadurai, and Bhardwaj will also make India one of the longest teams at the tournament. India has long needed this type of exposure tournaments before bigger FIBA Asia clashes - the William Jones Cup will provide the team with the perfect platform to fine-tune their chemistry and cause some shocks at the Asian stage.

Team India's Schedule - All timings IST
  • India vs California State University – 23rd July, 12:30 PM
  • India vs Japan – 24th July, 12:30 PM
  • India vs China – 25th July, 4:30 PM
  • India vs Korea – 26th July, 12:30 PM
  • India vs Egypt – 27th July, 10:30 AM
  • India vs Mighty Sports – 28th July, 10:30 AM
  • India vs China B – 29th July, 10:30 AM
  • India vs Iran – 31st July, 10:30 AM

The schedule, as you can see, is relentless. All the teams will play in eight games in nine days, which is sure to take a toll on the players by the end of the tournament. On paper, India is the lowest rank national team, and the other squads from the USA, Philippines, and China will also prove to be huge challenges for the Young Cagers. Hopefully India can avoid injuries, post a respectable finish, and be in decent health and form for the FIBA Asia Challenge next month.

The William Jones Cup is a prestigious annual invitational tournament, the inaugural edition of which was held in 1977. The Cup was conceived and named to honour Dr. Renato William Jones, who served as one of the founders of FIBA and served as its first Secretary General for 44 years. Iran is the tournament's defending champion, while the team from the USA has been the most successful in the competition, with 15 gold medal finishes. The last time the Indian men’s team competed at the William Jones Cup was way back in 2005. The Indian Women's team, however, played in the 2011 and 2012 editions of the Cup.

4 comments:

  1. Is TJ Sahi back permanently?

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    Replies
    1. Seems like it, he's played in last few tournaments

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  2. Is there any live streaming link to jones cup games?

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