India’s Senior Men’s Basketball team has returned to competitive international action this week as they are amongst 10 squads taking part in the 4th FIBA Asia Cup, taking place in Tokyo, Japan. The Basketball Federation of India (BFI) announced the 12-member squad for India – led by Coach KK Chansoria – a few days ago. The tournament is being held from September 14-22, 2012.
India played their first game of the tournament on Friday, to Iran, losing 83-71 after giving the Asian powerhouses a run for their money.
Formerly known as the FIBA Asia Stancovic Cup, the FIBA Asia Cup takes place every two years. India played in the first two versions of this tournament before missing out in 2010. They return this year in hopes to finish better than their best ever finish (5th – in 2008). The reigning champions are Lebanon who won the previous championship at home in Beirut in 2010.
India have been placed in Group B of the tournament, along with Iran, Chinese Taipei, Qatar, and Japan. Group A consists of Lebanon, Macau, Philippines, Uzbekistan, and China.
- September 14 (10:30 AM): India vs. Iran
- September 15 (10:30 AM): India vs. Qatar
- September 16 (8 AM): India vs. Chinese Taipei
- September 17 (1 PM): India vs. Japan
The top four teams from each group will advance to the Quarter-Final stage.
Here is India’s Senior Men’s squad for this tournament:
Narender Kumar Grewal
Amrit Pal Singh
Palpreet Singh Brar
Love Neet Singh
Rikin Shantilal Pethani
Head Coach: KK Chansoria
Assistant Coach: JP Singh
Team Manager: Kanta Prasad Changoiwala
Physiotherapist: Asif Iqbal
The Indian squad has an intriguing mix of youth and experience. The only players to have been regular in the Senior squad for more than two years are Vishesh Bhriguvanshi and Yadwinder Singh. Young bigs like Amjyot Singh and Amrit Pal Singh have been given another opportunity with this squad their impressive run with the seniors from last year. Several of the players of India’s U18 squad which played at the U18 FIBA Asia Championship in Ulaanbaatar last month are in this squad too: Narender Grewal, Rakesh Sangwan, Love Neet Singh, and the breakout star of that tournament: Palpreet Singh Brar. India’s U18 coach JP Singh has also been sent with this team as an assistant coach.
Returning to the mantle of India’s head coach is KK Chansoria. The experienced Chansoria takes over after several foreign coaches tried their luck with India’s national team, including most recently, former NBA Coach Kenny Natt. Chansoria’s job may just be temporary though, as former NBDL assistant coach Scott Flemming has been recently announced as the future senior coach for India.
Although they have already lost to Iran, India play Qatar, Chinese Taipei, and Japan over the next few days, needing just one win to assure their place in the Quarter-Final. Chinese Taipei and Japan are much stronger teams, so India must aim to bring down Qatar and hope to move on further into the championship.