In this special India Basketball podcast, we preview India’s quarterfinal match vs Iran at the FIBA Asia Challenge 2016, that will be played on 16th September evening, from 7:30 pm onwards.
The podcast was hosted by Team Ekalavyas’ Gopalakrishnan R & Vishnu Ravi Shankar, who also brought on board a special guest- former India Captain and Olympian from the 1980 Moscow Games, Mr Amarnath Nagarajan, who shared his thoughts on the subject, including his own experiences from his playing days.
Mr Nagarajan spoke about how India Basketball was looking for its “Kapil Dev moment from the 1983 World Cup,” which could spark the golden days of hoops in India. Calling himself a dreamer, Mr Nagarajan reminisces on his playing days, alongside current India Head Coach Sat Prakash Yadav, whom he calls a fighter, and the perfect person to lead this talented Indian side to perhaps its first ever victory over Iran. The Olympian notes that most of the current India squad are doing well because they have been taught the fundamentals well, thanks to being coached by legendary coaches, the late Dr Sankaran Subramanium (of the Ludhiana Basketball Academy who coached 5 of the 6 Punjab players currently on the Indian team) and Mr Amarjeet Singh (who coached current India veteran guard Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, among many others, at Varanasi’s famous UP College).
Mr Nagarajan urges Team India to play without fear of losing, and lists 5 key points (avoid turnovers, low percentage/rushed shots, grab rebounds, fall back on defense and contest every shot) that the side must keep in mind to ensure victory against the as-yet-undefeated powerhouse Iran.
Vishnu chimes in by breaking down all of India’s and its opponents’ strengths and weaknesses, and anticipates that the quarterfinals will be a matchup of the two centres: Amritpal Singh and former NBA centre Hamed Haddadi. Gopal meanwhile explains how the rechristened FIBA Asia Challenge ushers in FIBA’s new competition structure that will lead right up to the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
You can follow the live play by plays of the QFs vs Iran from 7:30 onwards here.