November 13, 2014

India back at 4th Asian Beach Games in Thailand to continue stellar basketball record - Rosters & Preview

India may still be taking baby steps up the Asian basketball ladder, but when it comes to the 3x3 version of the game, the country has been able to enjoy consistent success in the continent over the past few years. Most notably, India have been stellar in the Asian Beach Games, with the Men's team winning gold at the games' first 3x3 basketball tournament in Bali in 2008 and with the women winning gold at the most recent iteration of the tournament in Haiyang (China) two years ago.

Now, both of India's senior men and women head back to the beach to continue their streak of success.

The 4th Asian Beach Games will begin in Phuket (Thailand) tomorrow - November 14th - and held until the closing ceremony on November 23rd. A total of 43 Asian nations will participate in 26 sporting events, including 3x3 beach basketball.

The basketball tournament for men and women is slated to be held over four days from November 15-18 at Karon Beach in Phuket. 15 Men's teams and nine Women's teams are schedule to compete for the basketball medals. (You can find the full draw here). India's Men were drawn in Group B with China, Kuwait, Bhutan, Indonesia, Mongolia, Thailand, Laos, and India's Women were placed in Group A along with China, Mongolia, and Philippines. The top two teams from each group – in both sections – will qualify to play criss-cross Semi-Finals.

The Basketball Federation of India (BFI) released the roster and coaching staff list of names representing India at the tournament yesterday. FIBA Referee Zanim Hashim will be travelling with the teams as well.

  • Kavita Kumari
  • Jeena PS
  • Poojamol Kochuparambu
  • Rajaganapathi Rajapriyadharshini 
  • Head Coach: Ashok Rangeen
At an average age of 20, this is a young Indian team, but still loaded with a lot of experience. India may not have the supreme talents of Geethu Anna Jose or Anitha Paul Durai that helped us win the gold two years ago, but the new crop of stars - out of whom I'm expecting the Kerala duo of Jeena and Poojamol to shine the brightest - should still be able to play at a high level. India will play against China - the team they defeated in 2012 to win the gold - in the preliminary round.

  • Pratham Singh
  • Vishesh Bhriguvanshi
  • Amrit Pal Singh
  • Yadwinder Singh 
  • Head Coach: KK Chansoria
After finishing fifth in Haiyang in 2012, India's Men's team aren't messing around, naming a roster with their eyes focused only on winning the gold. This is a strong Indian team, with all four members a regular part of India's senior basketball squad and all four experienced at the Beach Games or 3x3 level too. Like the Women, India's Men will have to deal with China, too, but as long as they can make it in good form into the semi-final stage, this team has the talent required to go all the way. I expect national team captain Amrit Pal Singh to be the difference-maker for this squad.

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