(Features Image is a file photo from the recently concluded SABA Qualifying Round)

New Delhi/ Bengaluru, 25th July 2016: Threatening to turn the corner, the Indian Senior Men’s National Basketball Team continued to show significant improvement in the 38th William Jones Cup International Basketball Tournament 2016, with a tense 70-76 overtime loss to hosts Republic of China’s A team (Chinese Taipei). The William Jones Cup is being held at the Hsinchuang Gymnasium in the city of New Taipei, Taiwan.

If one were to simply go by world rankings, a victory today would have been considered a mini-upset, as Chinese Taipei is ranked 48th in the world, as against India’s 53.

These are exciting times for India basketball which is growing from strength to strength with each passing year. It is to be remembered that the Indian men’s team was invited to participate in this prestigious invitational championship on the back of its 8th place finish (best in 12 years) in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship.

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 doing an excellent job in testing out various combination of players in the three games so far, first against USA on Day 1, yesterday against Japan and today against Chinese Taipei.

Chinese Taipei led 22-17 at the end of the opening period before the momentum slightly shifted towards India, as it first matched Taipei 14-14 in the second quarter, before outscoring Taipei 25-20 in the second half to force the game into an extra five minutes of play.

In overtime, the hosts went on a 10-4 run to seal the deal. For India, multiple players stepped up throughout the course of the match. Power forward Amjyot Singh dominated on offense grabbing an unbelievable 10 offensive rebounds to go along with his 18 points. Centre Rikin Pethani shone on the defensive end with 13 huge rebounds (17 in total), 3 blocks and 4 steals. Streaky guards Talwinderjit Singh and Prasanna Venkatesh had 16 points each, while the always consistent Vishesh Bhriguvanshi ended with 11 points, 4 assists and 3 steals.

However, despite all these statistical highlights, in the end India fell just short.

Team India is now 0-3 and faces Korea (WR-30) tomorrow at 12:30 pm.

Republic of China Team A bt India (Amjyot Singh 18 pts 12 reb, Prasanna Sivakumar 16 pts 9 reb,  Talwinderjit Singh 16 pts, Rikin Pethani 17 reb 3 blk 9 pts 4 stl, Vishesh Bhriguvanshi 11 pts 4 ast 3 stl) 76-70 [22-17, 14-14, 11-14, 19-21, 10-4(OT)]

Indian Squad for the 38th William Jones Cup 2016

Jersey
No

Family Name(s)

/Last Name

First Name(s)

/Given Name

Place of Birth

(City and State)

Date of Birth
(dd/mm/yyyy)

Height
(cm)

(ft & inches)

Weight

(Kg)

Position

4

Bhullar

Arshpreet Singh

Jalandhar

Punjab

02/10/1996

190 (6’ 3’’)

86

G/F

9

Bhriguvanshi

Vishesh

Varanasi

Uttar Pradesh

13/09/1991

195 (6’ 4.5’’)

95

G/F

10

 

Amritpal Singh

(c)

Ganna Pind

Punjab

05/01/1991

207 (6’ 9.5’’)

110

C

12

Philip

Basil

Sulthanbathery

Kerala

10/01/1991

184 (6’ .5”)

76

G/F

15

Pethani

Rikin

Sajiavadar Amreli

Gujarat

02/12/1990

203 (6’ 8”)

104

C

23

Annadurai

Aravind

Tanjore

Tamil Nadu

05/07/1993

200 (6’ 7”)

95

C

25

Arumugam

Arvind

Mandya

Karnataka

28/01/1991

197 (6’ 5.5”)

94

PF

27

Amjyot Singh

Chandigarh

Punjab/ Haryana

27/01/1992

203 (6’ 8”)

104

F

44

Bhardwaj

Ravi

Chandigarh

Chandigarh

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

77

Talwinderjit Singh

Patiala

Punjab

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
Tournament Specifics

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.

Participants

The list of participating teams range from National teams to amateur club and University teams, as follows:

1.       Egypt National Team (WR-41)

2.       Iran National Team (WR-17)

3.       India National Team (WR-53)

4.       Japan National Team (WR-48)

5.       Korea National Team (WR-30)

6.       Philippines (Mighty Sports Club team in the Pilipinas Commercial Basketball League or ‘PCBL’)

7.       U.S.A (California State University, Sacramento)- NCAA Div I Team

8.       Republic of China (ROC) Team A (WR-48)

9.       Republic of China Team B

India’s Upcoming Schedule [Timings in IST]

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.

Team Ekalavyas
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