In less than 10 days, India’s under-18 women’s national basketball team will be heading to the city of Johor Bahru in Malaysia to take part in the 21st FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Women. In preparation for this tournament, the team will head to the city of Dongguan in China from September 19 – 27 for practice sessions and friendly games against local teams.
The U18 Women’s FIBA ABC is scheduled to be held from September 29 – October 6 in Johor Bahru. India have been placed in ‘Level II’ of the competition, along with Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Uzbekistan.
In Dongguan, China, the Indian team will play two scrimmage games against the Guangdong Women’s U18 Youth Team at the Dongguan Basketball School on September 21 and September 23, and have a final scrimmage against the Guangzhou Sports School U17 Women’s Team at the Guangzhou Sports School on September 25th.
India will depart Dongguan for Malaysia on September 27 and be ready for their first official game at the tournament, against Singapore on September 29th.
India will be led at this tournament by Head Coach Harjinder Singh Simak and assistant Shiba Maggon. Maggon has focused on the learning experience that India’s young players have been gaining over the past few years, and recently spoke to FIBA Asia about it:
“I think [close games in the past] give us the confidence that we can actually challenge the top teams. But also they showed what we lack or where we lag behind in moving up to the next level,” Maggon said.
“In fact all our training so far has emphasized on reducing our past mistakes. That is the path to learning we have chosen. I do think that is the only way we can focus on improving as well as getting the results we need.”
There players from India’s squad that took part in the 2010 U18 FIBA Women’s ABC in Surat Thani (Thailand) – Rajapriyadharshini Rajaganapathi, Sneha Rajguru and Sangeetha Mandal – will be a part of this year’s team, too.