India aim to stay in Level I

Eves leave for Asian basketball meet today

India aim to stay in Level I

 With just over three weeks of preparations for what is expected to be their biggest test, the Indian women’s basketball team knows the challenge that awaits them at the Asian Basketball Championship in China.

Pitted against formidable forces such as Japan, South Korea, China, Chinese Taipei and Thailand, the Indian eves will have to punch above their ranks if they are to maintain their Level 1 status in the championship. And their coach Francisco Garcia was well aware of the task at hand.

“Our goal obviously is to stay in Level I. For that, we need to beat Thailand because China, Korea, Japan and Chinese Taipei are out of our reach,” said Garcia on the eve of the team’s departure to Wuhan where the championship will begin from Saturday.

“And in the relegation play-off we will hope to avoid Kazakhstan — they’re a strong team. So, if we beat Thailand, we could probably face Jordan, Lebanon or Malaysia. They are more or less at our level. And then it’s up to us,” said the Spaniard.

Throwing more light on the team, Francisco added that the side was well used to a system and knew their strengths and weaknesses. Something he hoped will help their cause in China.

“Most of the girls here are not much experienced. But, with a few weeks of practice, they are now used to a system. And I am sure they will do well at the Championship,” he stressed about the side which will be backed by AirAsia, a domestic carrier, for the China event.

While the experienced Anitha Pauldurai was named the captain of the side, the 17-year-old Karnataka girl Bhandavya HM was also included in the 12-member squad, making her the youngest member of the side.

The Indians will begin their campaign against Chinese Taipei on the opening day of the meet.

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