Asian Games 2018, Preview: Indian Women's Basketball Team
The Indian contingent is solely represented by the Indian Women's Basketball team who are competing in the 5 x 5 category. There will be no representation by the Men's team as they did not meet the selection criteria set by the IOA.
Let's throw light on the previous performance of the Women's team. During the 2014 Incheon Asian Games India had lost their quarterfinals against Japan. They defeated Mongolia in the classifications but eventually lost to Kazakhstan to end up in 6th position out of 11 nations.
In the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup, India was competing in Division B and outplayed Uzbekistan and Sri Lanka in the group stages. In the knock out stages, they defeated Fiji, Lebanon and Kazakhstan. They were promoted to play in Division A during the 2019 FIBA Asia Cup.
During the 2015 FIBA Asia cup, India competed in Division A and lost all their group matches against Japan, China, South Korea, Chinese Taipei and Thailand. In the qualification match for Division A, they lost to the Philippines and were demoted to Division B in 2017 FIBA Asia Cup.
China is the odds-on favourites to win the Gold medal with a world ranking of 10, followed by Japan (13). However both the teams will have a stiff fight with the unified Korean team.
The Indian women's team (45) is grouped with the Unified Korea Team, Chinese Taipei (40), Indonesia (58) and Kazakhstan (46).
India is expected to lose to the Unified Korean team, but they are expected to put up a spirited show against the pacy Chinese Taipei. They should comfortably win against Kazakhstan and Indonesia. If India finishes second in their group they would face either Thailand or Hong Kong in the Quarters which would pave a way for a semifinal spot. If they finish third in their group they are expected to play against mighty China or Japan.
So eventually, we are expected to finish in the top 6 nations in Women's Basketball 5 x 5 event at the 2018 Asian Games.
Women’s Squad: Sanjana Ramesh, Pushpa Senthil Kumar, Prasannan Geetha Anjana, Hemmige Mahesha Bhandavya, Palanikumakalayil Skaria Jeena, Rajapriyadharshini Rajaganapathi, Raspreet Sidhu, Shireen Vijay Limaye, Priyanka Prabhakara, Madhu Kumari, Sangeeta Kaur and Stephy Nixon
Coach: Shiba Maggon