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FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers: India banking on home advantage to score first win in group

25 Feb, 2024 21:40 IST|Sakshi Post

New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) Hosts India will be hoping to bank on home advantage and bag their first victory in the 2025 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifying Basketball when they take on the formidable Iran in the Group E clash at the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall, Indira Gandhi Stadium here on Monday.

The Asia Cup comprising a total of 24 countries, divided into six groups, will be competing in a round-robin qualifying tournament. The Indian team is placed in Group E of the qualifiers along with Qatar, Kazakhstan and Iran.

Last week, the national side went down to a much higher-ranked Kazakhstan in their group opener in Astana.

Qatar is the fourth team in the group and all teams will play against each other home and away with the top two teams in the group qualifying for the Asia Cup next year. The third team in the group will get another chance to qualify through the final qualifying tournament.

The Indian team has been undergoing a focused and preparatory training camp at the National Sports Centre in Chennai for the first time since January for ongoing the Asia Cup qualifier.

Coached by Serbian Veselin Matic and a team of support staff comprising of strength and conditioning trainers, two physiotherapists and assistant coaches - this six-week training camp has helped players prepare well. The coach is impressed with their competitive spirit and is banking on home support and conditions to get the much-anticipated points table.

Led by Amritpal Singh, the Indian team had started strong against Kazakhstan with point guard M. Arvind Kumar doing the bulk of the scoring and centre Palpreet Singh Brar impressing on both ends of the court.

Speaking on the eve of the match, captain Amritpal Singh said, “There were a few learnings from the game against Kazakhstan and we are looking forward to putting our best foot forward in front of our supporters.”

Even though these are early days in the round-robin stage, the Indians would want to score as many points as possible at home and are well aware that Iran won’t be an easy opponent.

Basketball Federation of India President Adhav Arjuna said, “The BFI is committed to making India a formidable force in Asian Basketball and starting with this Asia Cup qualifier, which is an important tournament in the Asian Calendar to gauge our progress and plan for the future. I am confident that the players have trained and will give their best shot in Delhi.”

India team: Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, M. Arvind Kumar, Muin Bek H, Pranav Prince, Amritpal Singh, Kanwar Gurbaz Singh Sandhu, Palpreet Singh, Amarendra Nayak, Vaishak K. Manoj, Princepal Singh, Sahaij Pratap Singh Sekhon, P. Baladaneshwar

Coach: Veselin Matic.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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