CHENNAI: After the famine, the flood. The Indian basketball ecosystem — from the age-group teams to the senior men’s and women’s sides — were so starved of competition the last few years but that’s about to change thanks to the upcoming ‘packed schedule’, according to Norman Issac, chairman of the Basketball Federation of India’s technical committee.
It’s in this context that the ongoing senior nationals attains greater importance. This will act as selection trials to pick the core group for the national camp in Bengaluru where all national teams (juniors and seniors) will be housed for a period of ‘30-45 days’ after the culmination of the nationals.
However, the likes of Sahaji Sekhon, whose team (Chandigarh) did not qualify, will be selected based on his performances in the second window when India played New Zealand twice and Philippines in February. “For cases like Sekhon who was a prominent player in the previous windows, the selection committee knows that he isn’t here because his team didn’t qualify. So players like Sekhon will be there in the camp. All the familiar names have made themselves available because they know a good performance here will open up a pathway to the national team,” Isaac said.
As Korea withdrew from that window because of a surge in Covid cases, they have been disqualified. That automatically meant that India advanced to the next round of the World Cup qualifiers where three other teams will join them for matches on a home and away basis. For there, four teams will go to the World Cup. Considering India have never qualified for the event, Isaac is cautious but says ‘the team is on the right track’. The more attainable target seems to be finishing in the top of the Asia Cup in Indonesia. If they can do that, they will qualify for the Asiad.
Women’s team without coach
While the men’s team has Veselin Matic’s expertise, the women’s team, who have already qualified for the Asian Games, will have to make do without a permanent coach for the time being. “As of now, we don’t have a coach, we have to make do with what we have,” Isaac said. “But the federation is in the process of bringing on board a coach who will manage them.”
Men: Haryana bt West Bengal 74-57, Karnataka bt Rajasthan 69-44, Uttar Pradesh bt Services 88-64, Punjab bt Telangana 96-58, Mizoram bt Delhi 57-54, Tamil Nadu bt Uttarakhand 99-71,
Women: Indian Railways bt Delhi 120-66, Telangana bt Odisha 54-37, Tamil Nadu bt Maharashtra 89-68, Madhya Pradesh bt Uttar Pradesh 69-46,
Full story: newindianexpress.com