Asia Cup basketball: Team India confident of reaching quarterfinal

Sixteen team India basketball probables are leaving no stone unturned in their preparations for the upcoming FIBA Asia Cup Basketball championship scheduled to be held in China from Sept 23.

The players, who are sweating it out for at least four hours a day at the indoor stadium here under the watchfull eyes of coach K Sebastian, have set a target of reaching the last-eight round.

The team is confident of facing the fancied China, Philippines, Korea and Iran.
Vishesh Briguvamshi, who led the team to a creditable 11th place finish in the previous edition of Asia Cup held in Philippines in 2014, said that India did well in the last edition under an overseas coach Scout Fleming. Under Fleming Indian team got a good exposure playing in overseas conditions.  

Vishesh Briguvamshi said India played some tough games in the knock-out stage and this experience would keep the team in good stead.

He however admitted that a professional league for basketball would do a world of good to the sport in the country.

K Sabastian, the coach of Indian basketball team, said that team selection would be held on Sept 5 and 6 at Nitte. The final team would comprise 12 members and three others would be chosen as reserves.

 Sebastian, who is associated with Kerala State Sports Council, said, “As many as 24 players were picked for training camp based on their performance at the national championship held at Bilwara in Rajasthan, last year. Of which four players will take part in three on three format basketball games in China while two players are playing in Japan league and two others are busy with army championships. The players would soon join the training camp, he added. The training is being held in two stages. The first phase training would end on August 22 while the second phase training will begin on Aug 31 and would end on Sept 20.”

As many as 16 countries would feature in the FIBA Asia cup. The players are young and energetic and are raring to go. The absence of a foreign coach is unlikely to affect the team’s performance as the training standard and facility are world-class. Another coach would join the team shortly, he added.

The Indian team has certain shortcomings in the defence. The players are working on it and the phase-2 training will focus on defence drills, the coach added.

Aravid, a promising lad from Mandya, says that he is confident of making it to the team
The team would leave for Delhi on Sept 22 and play their inaugural match the next day.
The players felt that the indoor stadium at Nitte was of international standard.

The Nitte University has invested Rs 5-6 lakh after the Basketball Federation of India chose the indoor arena here for the national training camp, said local coach A K Hussein.
 

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