Bengaluru/New Delhi, 1st June, 2016: India has opened its SABA U18 Championship 2016 campaign with resounding victories over Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to move closer to a FIBA Asia Championship berth. India plays its final round robin match, against Nepal tomorrow morning.

In the first game against Bangladesh, India scored 90 while the host team could only manage 31. Scoring 57 points in the first half alone, India were in control of the game from the very beginning. The 4th quarter saw some parity between the teams as Bangladesh scored 10 to India’s 13. With such a strong first win, India will be looking to carry forward this momentum and close out the next two games in similar fashion. With multiple players contributing, Vishal Kumar Gupta (#13) with 15 pts led the scorers for India.

The second game against Sri Lanka was also won by a comfortable margin, 127-52. Here too, most of India’s damage was done in the first half, with 73 points against 21 by Sri Lanka. They put the game out of reach with a 28-9 third quarter. Gineeb Benny (#4) with 21 points and Baladhaneshwar (#14) with 18 points were the top scorers for India.

The SABA Championship is organized by the South Asian Basketball Association and serves as the qualifier for the FIBA Asia Championship.

India’s Day 1 Results
  1. India (Vishal Kumar Gupta 15, Gineeb Benny 12, Baladhaneshwar 12, Rachit 10, Hari Ram 10) bt Bangladesh (Md Ali 8 pts) 90-31 [33-7, 24-6, 20-8, 13-10]
  2. India (Gineeb Benny 21, Baladhaneshwar 18, Vishal Kumar 15) bt Sri Lanka (Brent 13, Chirath 12) 127-52 [41-11, 32-10, 28-9, 26-22]
The Squad

The final 12 that have been picked to represent India at the SABA Championship 2016 were selected based on the individual performances of the players at the 67th Junior National Basketball Championship, 2015, that was held in Puducherry. 25 individual athletes were selected after the championship, after which the final 12 were decided on in a subsequent camp, which was held in Puducherry as well. The squad then went onto play practice matches against Sathyabama University, Chennai and the Indian Overseas Bank Team prior to their SABA engagement. The team will be coached by Mr JP Singh, and captained by P Baladhaneshwar.

Indian Squad for the 5th SABA U18 Championship 2016

Family Name/
Last Name
Given Name/
First Name
Place of Birth
(City & State)
Date of Birth (dd/mm/yy) Height
(ft & inches)


4 Benny Gineeb Potta Kerala 09/03/1998 194

(6’ 4’’)

78 C
5 Sahil Kalkha Haryana 02/02/1999 184


69 SG
6 Mohammed Ali Samo Ki Dhani Rajasthan 06/04/1998 194

(6’ 4’’)

70 PF
7 Singamuthu Kalidass Manamelkudi Tamil Nadu 15/04/1998 174

(5’ 8.5’’)

64 PG
8 Rachit Delhi Delhi 16/09/1998 186

(6’ 1’’)

75 SG
9 Noushad Muhammed Shiras Alappuzha Kerala 04/07/1999 190

(6’ 3’’)

83 PF
10 Arthur Wilson Daniel Richards Chennai Tamil Nadu 25/10/1998 180

(5’ 11’’)

74 SG
11 Ragupathy Hariram Chennai Tamil Nadu 24/04/1998 184


72 SG
12 Kukkundur Guruprasad Nayak Puttur Karnataka 06/05/1998 175

(5’ 9’’)

65 PG
13 Gupta Vishal Kumar Village Chapar Uttar Pradesh 04/01/1998 199

(6’ 6’’)

78 C
14 Poiyamozhi Baladhaneshwar Ullikkottai Mannargudi Tamil Nadu 07/12/1999 180

(5’ 11’’)

71 SG
15 Sayyed Saqlain Jamir Kada Maharashtra 15/02/1998 190

(6’ 3’’)

78 SG

*PG – Point Guard / Feeder, G – Guard, F – Forward, G/F – Wing, PF – Power Forward, C – Centre, PF/C – Pivot

The Final Twelve for the SABA U18 Championship 2016 during their training at Sathyabama University, Chennai

The Final Twelve for the SABA U18 Championship 2016 during their training at Sathyabama University, Chennai

13) Head Coach: Mr Jai Prakash Singh

14) Assistant Coach: Mr Vinod Pazahmi Goutham

FIBA Referee from India:

15) Mr Biswajit Ojha

India’s Tournament Schedule*

Vs Nepal – 2nd June, 08:00 AM

*See below for tournament format, history, and India’s past participation.

About the SABA U18 Championship 2016
Tournament Format

The SABA Championship is played on the round robin format, with each participant playing the others in the league. Participants in the SABA Championship 2016 are India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The Championship is a qualifier in the FIBA sub-zone of South Asia for the FIBA Asia Championship. The 2016 championship is the qualifying round for the 24th FIBA Asia Championship to be held at Tehran, Iran from 15th to 24th July, 2016.

About Basketball Federation of India

The Basketball Federation of India or BFI is the governing and controlling body of basketball in India, and is responsible for the development and promotion of the sport at all levels. BFI has been involved in conducting camps, clinics, events, and training sessions at its academies for the development of basketball. BFI came into being in 1935 and took complete control over Indian basketball in 1950. Prior to that time, the Indian Olympic Association handled the conduct of Indian basketball championships. Since 1950, the BFI has been conducting various such championships, from the grassroots to senior team participation in international tournaments. In addition, the BFI has been responsible for the establishment of strong sub-junior and junior level programs. The BFI has to its credit produced several international players of repute, among them 17 have been bestowed with the honour of Arjuna Awards. Earlier in June 2015, 19-year-old Satnam Singh Bhamara made history by becoming the first Indian national to be drafted by an NBA team, when he was selected by the Dallas Mavericks. More information at

Team Ekalavyas
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