Tough task for Indian hoopsters in Women's ABC

Tough task for Indian hoopsters in Women's ABC


Having qualified for Level-1 with an all-win record two years ago at Incheon in South Korea, the Indians are understandably in an upbeat mood ahead of the competition that would be far stiffer than they encountered in the past.

Clubbed with multiple champions South Korea and China, besides front-runners Chinese-Taipei and 1970 champions Japan, the hosts would be under pressure to retain their position in Level-1, much less win the tournament. The top three teams will book berths in the 2010 World Championship.

India will also have to contend with Thailand, the sixth team in Level-1 and bronze medallists in 1972 who are no pushovers.

It remains to be seen whether the so-called home advantage translates into major victories that the Indian camp, containing seven players from the Incheon campaign, has boldly predicted on the eve of the competition.

India begin their campaign Thursday against South Korea, followed by games against Chinese-Taipei (Friday), China (Saturday), Thailand (Monday) and Japan (Tuesday).

Spearheaded by the experienced Geetu Anna Jose who played a vital role in the team’s 2007 success, the Indians might yet find themselves short on recent international exposure as compared to the top teams.

The 24-year old Jose was the top scorer at Incheon, averaging 32.8 points per game and 14.8 rebounds that saw India winning all their six matches to qualify for Level-1.

The Indians will be again looking up to Jose who will have to draw upon all her experience that includes a stint in the Australian League, to keep the team afloat against far tougher opponents this time around.

It remains to be seen whether the so-called home advantage translates into major victories that the Indian camp, containing seven players from the Incheon campaign, has boldly predicted on the eve of the competition.

In contrast, South Korea, the 22-times winners and defending champions, start out as the overwhelming favourites along with China who have won the event on 17 occasions.
Both boast of quality players with plenty of international exposure and products of their well-structured National league system.

As for Chinese-Taipei and Japan, the two nations have figured in the top four bracket along with South Korea and China in every WABC since 1988. Given their relative strengths as compared to India and Thailand, the four are expected to retain their positions in the pecking order.
Meanwhile, the Level-2 competition, to be run concurrently, also has six teams - Lebanon, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and The Philippines. 

 

                                                                    

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