New Delhi (1 August 2015): The Indian men’s basketball team had a positive opening day, winning two games out of three in the 3×3 SABA Qualifiers 2015 that is underway at Gateway College in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Grouped in Pool B, the Young Cagers began strong by beating Colombo Sri Lanka Blues 20-10, lost to Colombo Sri Lanka Red 14-21 in the middle game, and bounced back with a huge 21-4 win over Colombo Avant BC.
“Playing for our country gives us the greatest pride. We are new to the international level and learning the right way of playing at this level. We need to pull up our socks and focus on the upcoming games,” said India guard Siddhant Shinde after the conclusion of the day’s matches.
India will face Nepal tomorrow morning at 9 am local time in their last league match, and hope to win in order to qualify for the semi-finals of this two day tournament. With their current 2-1 record, India is placed second behind Colombo Sri Lanka Reds (3-0) and above Kathmandu Nepal (2-1), Colombo Sri Lanka Blues (1-3) and Colombo Avant BC (0-3).
Pool A: Sri Lanka Blacks, Maldives, Sri Lanka Whites, Colombo BC and Colombo Bulls
Pool B: Colombo Sri Lanka Reds, Colombo Sri Lanka Blues, Kathmandu (Nepal), India and Colombo Avant Basketball Club
The top two teams from each Pool qualify for the semifinals.
About India’s participation at the 3×3 SABA Qualifiers 2015
The Indian senior men’s basketball team is participating in the 3×3 South Asian Basketball Association (SABA) Qualifiers 2015 in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 1st and 2nd August 2015. The four member team comprises Basil Philip (Kerala), Rajesh Uppar (Karnataka), Siddhant Shinde (Maharashtra) and Jeevanantham Pandi (Tamil Nadu) flew out of Bengaluru to Colombo on 31st July morning, and will return to Bengaluru on 3rd August 2015.
The winning team from these SABA Qualifiers will participate in the 3×3 World Tour which will be held on 15th and 16th August 2015 in Beijing, China. India had not participated in the inaugural 3×3 SABA Championship back in 2014, which was eventually won by hosts Bangladesh.
Basil Philip has made it to the Indian team for the second time, after representing the national side during the 2013 SABA 5×5 Championship in New Delhi. The remaining three, Uppar, Shinde and Jeevanantham are all first timers in the senior side. “3×3 is a fast paced game in which Indian players have a chance to compete against the top countries in the world as we develop the 5×5 version of the sport. This is a great opportunity for these players and if they compete hard and win, they’ll have the opportunity to play in China for even more and greater exposure.” said Mr. Chander Mukhi Sharma, Secretary General of the BFI.
Elaborating further, BFI President K Govindaraj said, “We wanted to give these four players, who worked extremely hard during the coaching camp prior to SABA, the chance to obtain valuable international experience. They didn’t make the SABA 5×5 team but all four are young, talented and extremely hard working. They will certainly be part of future Indian teams and this will be valuable exposure for all of them.”
INDIAN TEAM FOR THE 3×3 SABA QUALIFIERS 2015
|SL NO.||NAME||POSITION*||JERSEY NO.||DATE OF BIRTH||PLACE OF BIRTH|
|1.||Basil Philip||SG/SF||12||10/01/1991||Sulthanbathery, Kerala|
|2.||Rajesh Uppar||PG||4||20/01/1991||Dharwad, Karnataka|
|3.||Siddhant Shinde||PG/SG||9||15/06/1991||Pune, Maharashtra|
|4.||Jeevanantham Pandi||PF/C||10||13/10/1994||Virudhunagar, Tamil Nadu|
*C= Centre, PF= Power Forward, SF= Small Forward, SG= Shooting Guard, PG= Point Guard