Indian women basketball team coach JP Singh who is supervising the national camp in Chennai for the upcoming 23rd FIBA Asia Championship Women, believes more in practical than theory. Perhaps that could be one of the reasons he doesn’t want to predict anything about the team’s performance in the big tournament beginning September 17, at Chennai
“We have drawn our strategy for the tournament. It has been briefed to the team members,” was all he said after team’s friendly-match with Kazakhstan on Saturday.
During the friendly training session, the home team looked impressive. Team official said, the players are ready to face tough challenge ahead. Singh, a former international players, said, the players are focused. “The competition is tough. We have to give our best in each match to retain our position in the elite level,” he added.
Singh is assisted by South African basketall expert Dinesh Mitchel. Dinesh was also all praise for the team members. "The players have put in lot of hard work. They should deliver the goods," said Dinesh.
Two years ago in the last edition of the tournament held at Incheon, Korea, Indian team played their heart out to remain in level I of the competition. In the Chennai edition, hosts team apart, other teams clubbed in level I include Korea who are defending champions, Chinese Taipei, Japan, China and Thailand.
The level II teams are-- Malaysia, Phillipines, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, Lebanon and Uzebekistan.
India’s challenge in the tournament will be lead by Indian Railways cager Geethu Anna Jose. Jose was also instrumental in India’s excellent performance in the 2007 edition in Korea. In Korea, she topped scored with 32.8 points per match.
Jose apart, five players who represented the country in Korea, have also found a place in the 12-member team. The players are--Anitha Pauldurai, Akanksha Singh, Anju Lakra, Prashanti Singh and Kiranjeet Kaur.
While seasoned campaigner Shiba Maggon have also been included in the team.
India face defending champions Korea in their opening match, on September 17.
Team: Geethu Anna Jose (Captain), Anitha Pauldurai, Shiba Maggon, Prashanti Singh, Akanksha Singh, Kiranjeet Kaur, Pratima Singh, Sonika Ohlan, Anju Lakra, Kruthika Lakshman, Raspreet Sidhu and Harjeet Kaur.