Indian basketball's road to qualifying for the 2019 World Cup is currently in turmoil. India has lost all four of their previous games in Group C, to Syria, Jordan, and twice to Lebanon. They are 0-4, in the bottom of the group, with little chance to break into the top three. They are also missing most of their top players due to injury or suspension.
In the third and final window of the first round of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asia Qualifiers, India will play their final two games in Syria (on Thursday, June 28) and in Jordan (on Sunday, July 1). Chances of India's survival and progression into the next round are scarce, and they will need to pull out a big win (or two) over the course of the week in hostile territory away from home. Over the last two windows, India lost to Syria 74-57 and Jordan 102-88 at home in Bengaluru.
Around 30 probables spent the past two weeks in training camp in Bengaluru to prepare for the qualifiers. On Monday, the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) named the 12-man roster that will represent India in the next two games. The roster is highlighted by former NBA draftee Satnam Singh, experienced forward Yadwinder Singh, and point guard Akilan Pari. Sat Prakash Yadav will replace Rajinder Singh as the team's head coach.
- Gaurav Patwal
- Ravi Bhardwaj
- Joginder Singh
- Mahipal Singh
- Justin Joseph
- Sartaj Singh Sandhu
- Jeevanantham Pandi
- Yadwinder Singh
- Arvind Arumugam
- Arshpreet Singh Bhullar
- Satnam Singh
- Akilan Pari
- Head Coach: Sat Prakash Yadav
- Assistant Coach: Sebastian Padipurakkal Joseph
The India squad is highlighted by its absences, by the names of players not available for the next two games. This list includes Amjyot Singh (banned by the BFI), Amritpal Singh (injury), Vishesh Bhriguvanshi (recovering from injury), Aravind Annadurai (didn't make the cut) and Palpreet Singh Brar (banned by the BFI). Without so many of the big name players, the pressure to carry India on both ends of the floor will fall on the giant shoulders of Satnam Singh. Satnam recently told FIBA that this India was now a different team and that the morale within the unit is still high for qualification.
On the flip side, the absences have given room to a number of young faces who will make their senior India debut, including Gaurav Patwal, Sartaj Singh Sandhu and Mahipal Singh.
Schedule - all timings IST
- June 28 - Syria vs. India - 7:30 PM
- July 1 - Jordan vs. India - 9:30 PM