Can Indian Eves get past Korea, Chinese Taipei and Kazakhstan to make it into the knockout stages?
With Korea, Chinese Taipei and Kazakhstan also in Group A, the Indian Basketball team will need to overcome adversity if theyâ€™re to become a surprise package in Jakarta.
In the run-up to the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Fisto Sports take a look at Indian Basketball teamâ€™s credentials.
Approaching their third Asian Games, with menâ€™s team being absent, the womenâ€™s team have high expectations to reach the knockout phase for the first time in history.
Both Indian senior women’s and U17 team basketball won FIBA Asia Cup Division B title last year.
Waltzing through their mediocre qualifying group, the real acid test will come in Jakarta for Shiba Maggon side in facing the favourites for the tournament â€“ Korea.
Story so far
Indiaâ€™s best result at the Asian Games is the 4th place finish in 1951, they were hosts that year but that was menâ€™s team.
The womenâ€™s team record also has been poor. They lost all matches in 2006 (first appearance for womenâ€™s team), 2010, and won one in 2014. It is not easy this time either, with Korea, Chinese Taipei, and Kazakhstan and hosts Indonesia in Indiaâ€™s group A.
Jeena PS (Captain)
Pushpa Senthil Kumar
Coach: Shiba Maggon
Draws for Women’s Basketball for Asian Games 2018
Rangkaian kegiatan Asian Games 2018 untuk cabang olahraga 5×5 Basketball hari ini memasuki tahap team drawing . Timnas Putra akan berada di grup A bersama negara Korea, Mongolia, dan Thailand. Sedangkan untuk Timnas Putri, Indonesia akan menjamu Korea, Chinese Taipei, Kazakhtan, dan India . Selamat berjuang @timnasbasket Indonesia! #kasihyangterbaik #AsianGames2018 #Indonesia #Basketball . * UAE= United of Arab Emirates
Thereâ€™s no getting away from it. India have been placed in, arguably, the tournamentâ€™s most lopsided group A. India will have to try and surpass the group stage against some tough opponents coming in the form of Korea, Indonesia, Chinese Taipei and Kazakhstan. They will also fully know the difficulty of their group.
But they still have a chance of reaching the quarters, since four of the five teams in the group will make it to the next round.
What to expect
The lack of physicality, speed and agility has been the missing case of Indian women in basketball that seen struggle against top Asian teams. However, the team will aim to overcome that struggle as they have been training against menâ€™s team to help them prepare better under the coach Shiba Maggon in Bengaluru for a couple of months.
The recently concluded William Jones Cup tournament also would have helped them gain some confidence and fine-tune in their game plan, thereâ€™s still time for India to find an upward trajectory to carry them into the tournament.
How far will they go?
Itâ€™s been a cursed run, but India will get an opportunity to turn around their fortunes this time around. To better the previous results,Â India simply have to beat Indonesia, but to do so Shiba Maggon needs to keep Jeena PS under wraps. The Keralite is in good form, with Indonesia boosting home crowd advantage likely to cause another attack-heavy formation some severe headaches.
Korea are clear favourites to finish top but second place appears up for grabs. And India will be confident of competing against both Chinese Taipei and Kazakhstan.
The result of the opening game is likely to be crucial. A win would put India in a strong position ahead of their meeting with Kazakhstan.
It might be a different story in ten years time but, for now, with India fielding a formidable squad around Jenna PS, then they are more than capable of ousting at least one of Indonesia and Kazakstan. Still, think, third place in the group feels like the most realistic aspiration.
However, if they do make it into the knock-out round a meeting with either Japan or China is likely to be waiting for them which could prove too high an obstacle to overcome.
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Source: Matchday Frolics