New Delhi/ Bengaluru, 24th July 2016: The Indian Senior Men’s National Team is getting exactly the kind of varied exposure it was seeking from the 38th William Jones Cup International Basketball Tournament 2016 that tipped off yesterday in New Taipei City, Taiwan (Republic of China).
Considered as a key warm up event in the run up to the FIBA Asia Challenge to be held later this September, the Indian coaching staff led by Mr CV Sunny & Mr Sebastian PJ, have been testing out various combination of players in the two losses so far, first against USA yesterday, and today against Japan.
Japan beat India 89-70 (24th July)
You can watch the game here:
Earlier this evening, the hot shooting Japan National team put on a shooting clinic to beat India in their second match of the tournament. Both teams were coming off opening game losses, and unlike their previous opponents (USA), this time around, India had to contend with a completely different opponent in terms of playing style. While the California State University, Sacramento it played against yesterday was athletic and counted on its hustle and rebounding ability, Japan had a vast array of accurate jumpshooters at their disposal.
This was a game of runs, and India did well to counter Japan’s scoring runs until midway in the third quarter. India did a good job of mixing up India’s defence, by switching to man-to-man after his initial gamble of a 2-3 zone backfired because of Japan’s shooting prowess. Japan started off the game on an 18-8 run, before India’s change in defensive strategy allowed the side to go on a counter 11-4 run. The first quarter ended with the teams neck and neck at 22-19, with Japan in the lead.
But the second quarter is where the floodgates truly opened. Japan’s smaller and faster line up hit three back to back threes to open up a 31-19 lead, with India unable to score in the first three minutes of the period. In a bid to matchup with his opponents better, India was smart in opting for a small line up of guards TJ Sahi, Akilan Pari, with Vishesh Bhriguvanshi at small forward. But just as India launched a mini 4-0 run of its own, Bhriguvanshi got into foul trouble and was forced to sit out with 4 fouls.
India switched back up to a conventional 2 guards-3 forwards lineup and Japan immediately took advantage, going on a 14-6 run, with India’s slower forwards Rikin Pethani and Aravind Annadurai unable to close out their rival hot shooting forwards at the perimeter.
India were much better in the second half, scoring 42 points against Japan’s 44, but by then the damage was already done. The side next plays hosts Republic of China ‘A’ (i.e. Chinese Taipei) tomorrow at 4:30 pm.
Japan bt India (Amjyot Singh 16 pts, Vishesh Bhriguvanshi 16 pts, Talwinderjit Sahi 15 pts) 89-70 [22-19, 23-9, 29-21, 15-21]
India lose cliff-hanger to USA 60-62 (23rd July)
You can watch the game here:
Late on 23rd July, the Indian team faced off against USA NCAA Division 1 College team California State University, Sacramento. As expected from a USA side, the team was athletic and long, giving the Indian bigs a lot of working around in the paint. For Sacramento State, Centre E Stutteville should be credited for dominating in the paint, and ending with a double double. For India, rival centre Rikin Pethani, after struggling to contain Stutteville in the first half, caught fire in the second half, to lead all scorers with 23 points. Pethani was especially lethal knocking down jumpers from the high post, and converted most of his freethrows.
Besides Pethani, the versatile guard-forward duo of Vishesh Bhriguvanshi and Amjyot Singh were at their playmaking best, putting up all-round numbers of 6 assists and 8 rebounds each, apart from 13 and 11 points respectively.
But the night eventually belonged to American power forward J Strings, who, defying his position, shot 4/9 from long range, the most important three-pointer coming right at the clutch, to take his side to an exciting 62-60 win.
The Indian team has long been considered equal to an American Division II College team, so this performance against a lower Division I team should be viewed as a huge positive.
U.S.A i.e. California State University, Sacramento (J Strings 22, E Stuttville 11 pts 15 rbs) bt India (Rikin Pethani 23 pts 11 rbs, Vishesh Bhriguvanshi 13 pts 6 asts 8 rbs, Amjyot Singh 11 pts 6 asts 8 rbs) 62-60 [12-13, 14-14, 23-21, 13-12]
Indian Squad for the 38th William Jones Cup 2016
|Place of Birth
(City and State)
|Date of Birth
(cm)(ft & inches)
|4||Bhullar||Arshpreet Singh||Jalandhar||Punjab||02/10/1996||190 (6’ 3’’)||86||G/F|
|13/09/1991||195 (6’ 4.5’’)||95||G/F|
|05/01/1991||207 (6’ 9.5’’)||110||C|
|12||Philip||Basil||Sulthanbathery||Kerala||10/01/1991||184 (6’ .5”)||76||G/F|
|02/12/1990||203 (6’ 8”)||104||C|
|23||Annadurai||Aravind||Tanjore||Tamil Nadu||05/07/1993||200 (6’ 7”)||95||C|
|28/01/1991||197 (6’ 5.5”)||94||PF|
|27||Amjyot Singh||Chandigarh||Punjab/ Haryana||27/01/1992||203 (6’ 8”)||104||F|
|31/10/1992||207 (6’ 9.5”)||100||F/C|
|46||Sivakumar||Prasanna Venkatesh||Gobichettipalayam||Tamil Nadu||25/09/1992||186 (6’ 1”)||85||G/F|
|66||Pari||Akilan||Chennai||Tamil Nadu||20/07/1989||180 (5’ 10.8’’)||70||PG|
|20/10/1986||182 (5’ 11.6’’)||80||PG|
*PG – Point Guard / Feeder, G – Guard, F – Forward, G/F – Wing, PF – Power Forward, C – Centre, PF/C – Pivot
13) Coach: Sebastian Padipurakkal Joseph
14) Coach: Sunny Cheruthottil Varghese
15) Physiotherapist: Navaneeth Atholi Thiruvoth
16) Manager: Chengalraya Naidu Talipinani
About the 38th William Jones Cup
The venue for the tournament is the Hsinchuang Gymnasium in the city of New Taipei, Taiwan. 9 teams are set to participate, and this includes 2 local Taipei teams. Matches will be played between 23rd of July to the 31st.
The final placement of teams will be based on their performance in a single round robin format. This will mean that every team will face every other team once.
The William Jones Cup is one of the, if not the, biggest non-FIBA Asia tournament conducted in the Asian continent as it is regularly used for the top teams in Asia as a warm-up event for the regular FIBA Asia competitions. This marks the first time since 2005 that the Indian Men’s National Team was invited. The invitation comes after India made history in back to back years, in 2014 by beating China for the first time ever and in 2015 by reaching the quarterfinals for the first time in 12 years.
The list of participating teams range from National teams to amateur club and University teams, as follows:
- Egypt National Team (WR-41)
- Iran National Team (WR-17)
- India National Team (WR-53)
- Japan National Team (WR-48)
- Korea National Team (WR-30)
- Philippines (Mighty Sports Club team in the Pilipinas Commercial Basketball League or ‘PCBL’)
- S.A (California State University, Sacramento)- NCAA Div I Team
- Republic of China (ROC) Team A (WR-48)
- Republic of China Team B
India’s Upcoming Schedule [Timings in IST]
vs ROC A – 25th July, 4:30 PM
vs Korea – 26th July, 12:30 PM
vs Egypt – 27th July, 10:30 AM
vs Phillipines – 28th July, 10:30 AM
vs ROC B – 29th July, 10:30 AM
vs Iran – 31st July, 10:30 AM
Tournament History and India’s Participation
The William Jones Cup is a prestigious annual invitational tournament, the inaugural edition of which was held in 1977. The Cup was conceived and named to honour Dr. Renato William Jones, who served as one of the founders of FIBA and served as its first Secretary General for 44 years. Dr. William Jones was also instrumental in the creation of an Asian Zone for FIBA, which he did at the FIBA World Congress in Tokyo in 1964.
Iran is the defending champion, while United States is the most successful participant in the competition, with 15 gold medal finishes.
The last time the Indian men’s team competed at William Jones was way back in 2005. Subsequently, the women’s team participated in 2011 and 2012. In the 2011 edition, India finished (1-3), and was placed 4th, with the team’s sole win coming against South Korea (63-69). This game was notable Prashanti Singh’s shooting heroics as well as for Anitha Pauldurai top scoring (24 points) and Geethu Anna Jose’s 11 rebounds. In the following 2012 edition, India finished 4th again but fared better, going 2-3, by beating the Malaysian National Team and the Division III Chapman University, US.
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 www.basketballfederationindia.org.