3rd Asian Beach Games: India’s Women bag 3x3 basketball gold; Men finish 5th
It was a dream finish for India’s 3×3 Women’s basketball team who won a gold medal after defeating China in the Final 17-14 at the 3rd Asian Beach Games in Haiyang, China. It was an undefeated run by Indian eves who won all five of their games including a thrilling comeback victory over the hosts. Geethu, Anna Jose and Anitha Paul Durai scored the crucial last points to give India the final victory.
Jose is the best Indian basketball player of this generation, has played professionally in Australia, and was even invited for a trial with the WNBA a year ago. She led India’s gold medal winning campaign at this year’s Asian Beach Games with a team high average of 9 points a game. Anitha Paul Durai, Shireen Limaye, and Kiranjit Kaur made up India’s four-member squad, which was led by coach Prem Kumar.
India were placed in Group A along with Philippines, Thailand, and Nepal. They won all three of their group games and then defeated Mongolia 21-16 in the Semi-Final before beating China in the final. Philippines finished at 3rd place in the tournament in the Women’s division after defeating Mongolia in the Bronze Medal game.
India’s Men’s side – placed in Group C with Bangladesh, China, and Vietnam – also started the tournament on a positive note. India won all three of their group games to move into the second round groups with Turkmenistan and Mongolia. A loss to Turkmenistan and a win over Mongolia meant that India had to settle for a fifth place play-off game on Tuesday against Thailand.
India beat Thailand 16-8 to finish at 5th place in the Men’s division. Afghanistan won the gold medal beating Turkmenistan in the final. Mongolia finished at third place.
India’s Men’s squad – who finished the tournament 5-1 – was led by a balanced attack by Jagdeep Singh, Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, and Yadwinder Singh. Hareesh Koroth rounded up the team which was coached by former NBA coach Kenny Natt.