Bengaluru, 19 September 2015: The final 12 member Indian senior men’s squad under the helm of Head Coach Sat Prakash is all set to participate in the 28th FIBA Asia Men’s Championship that will be held in Changsha, China from 23rd September to 3rd October 2015. The players, along with the coaching staff, were provided with their kits at a distribution ceremony held earlier today at Hotel Ramanashree in Bengaluru. The FIBA Asia Championship serves as the qualifying event to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
Long standing former India player and national women’s team Coach Sat Prakash will be assisted by Mr Sebastian PJ of Kerala. The team will be captained by ONGC Dehradun’s veteran guard Vishesh Bhriguvanshi and managed by former Indian international Goutam Ganguly.
India is in Group A along with reigning champs Iran, Japan and Malaysia. “Most of our core team is intact, so we hope to perform very well. Our primary goal is to win our first game against Malaysia, and give tough fights to Iran and Japan. If we can manage that, we will progress to the second round,” said Bhriguvanshi, who returns to the national side accompanied by fellow ONGC teammates Yadwinder Singh and Amritpal Singh, and Punjab’s Amjyot Singh Gill. Other returnees to the national side include Akilan Pari (point guard) and Vinay Kaushik (small forward).
Forwards Amritpal and Amjyot are, notably, the first Indian players to secure professional playing contracts in Japan and will be raring to showcase their talent at Asia’s marquee event. Said the duo, “Our Japan experience has been wonderful so far and we have been exposed to playing against professional and ex-NBA players. We got this opportunity mainly because of our performances in last year’s win over China. We hope to build a base there to inspire other Indian youngsters to emulate us in the future.”
Karnataka’s Rajesh Uppar (point guard), Vikas Kumar (small forward/shooting guard), Aravind A (power forward) and Maharashtra’s Siddhant Shinde (guard) will provide much needed support to the key starters. Promising teenagers Akashdeep Hazra and Gurvinder Gill will be the other two forwards making their debut at the Senior Asian level.
The 19 member Indian contingent also comprises international referees Atanu Banerjee (West Bengal), Ceceline Michael Vino (Tamil Nadu) and Snehal Bendke (Maharashtra).
Support by Air Asia and NITTE University
Like with the women’s team earlier this year, popular budget airline Air Asia will be sponsoring the men’s team’s participation at the event. Basketball Federation of India President Shri K Govindaraj distributed the team kits and thanked Air Asia for their support to India Basketball. He was also grateful to Dr Vinaya Hedge, Vice Chancellor of NITTE University, Karkala for hosting the team’s training for almost two months. Dr Hegde, who was present on the occasion as chief guest, complimented the players for being excellent ambassadors for the sport and for inspiring the young students at NITTE campus, by their work ethic and drive. He expressed his University’s willingness to host other national team training camps in the future.
Regarding Air Asia’s continued patronage, Mr Salim Chaudhary, Airport Operations Manager (Ground Operations), said, “We are privileged and proud to be associated with any activity that encourages youngsters to come forward. With games like cricket already well established, sports like basketball are the ones that need more attention and focus.”
INDIAN SQUAD FOR THE 28TH FIBA ASIA MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP 2015
|Name||Date of Birth
|Place of Birth
(City & State)
|04||Rajesh Prakash Uppar
|07||Siddhant Sanjay Shinde
|96||Gurvinder Singh Gill
*PG – Point Guard / Feeder, G – Guard, F – Forward, G/F – Wing, PF – Power Forward, C – Centre, PF/C – Pivot
13) Team Manager: Mr Goutam Ganguly (West Bengal)
14) Head Coach: Mr Sat Prakash (Rajasthan)
15) Assistant Coach: Mr Sebastian Padipurakkal Joseph (Kerala)
16) Team Physio: Dr Nikhil Nellikka Puthiyandi (Karnataka)
17) Mr Atanu Banerjee (West Bengal)
18) Mr Ceceline Michael Vino (Tamil Nadu)
19) Snehal Bendke (Maharashtra)
India’s tournament schedule*
vs Malaysia- 23rd September, 17:00 IST (19:30 local time)
vs Iran- 24th September, 09:15 IST (11:45 local time)
vs Japan- 25th September, 12:00 IST (14:30 local time)
26th September will be a rest day
Round Two will be held between 27th and 29th September
Quarterfinals, semis and finals will be played on 1st, 2nd and 3rd October respectively.
*See below for tournament format, history, and India’s past participation.
About the FIBA Asia Men’s Championship 2015
This will be the 28th edition of the Asian Men’s Basketball Championship. 16 teams are expected participate in this championship and are divided into four groups (A, B, C and D) of four teams each. League matches are conducted within each group and the top three teams from each group proceed to the second round. The second round will comprise 12 teams in total split into two groups (E and F) of six teams each. The three top teams from groups A and B after the first round will be placed in Group E in the second round, while groups C and D’s top three teams will be placed in Group F.
In the second round, the top four teams each from Group C and D progress to the quarterfinals, followed by the semi-finals and finals. The 2015 FIBA Asia Championship is a qualifier for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The winner qualifies automatically for 2016 Men’s Olympic Basketball Tournament. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th place teams earn spots for 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT).
Tournament history & India’s participation
Prior to the upcoming iteration, 27 editions of this biennial championship have been held so far, dating back to 1960. Philippines won the inaugural edition. China leads the medal’s tally with 15 golds, followed by Philippines (5 golds) and Iran (3 golds) India first participated at this event in 1965, and has competed 24 times in total. The Indian men’s team best finish came in 1975, when we finished 4th. India has also secured 5th place at the 1969, 1979 and 1981 iterations.
At the last edition in 2013, Iran, Philippines and Korea were the top three sides, while India finished 11th.