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Mix of youth and experience in India's preliminary FIBA Asia Challenge roster
NEW DELHI (2016 FIBA Asia Challenge) - A 20-man preliminary squad that has both experience and youth has been named by India for the FIBA Asia Challenge.
They're joined on the list by Satnam Singh Bhamara, the first Indian national to be drafted by an NBA team. The The mountainous 7-foot-2, 290-pound centre, currently playing for Texas Legends in the D-League, last wore the national teams colours at the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship in Manila, Philippines.
The 20-man list also includes youngsters Baladhaneshwar Poiyamozhi, Sahil, Vishal Gupta and Hariram Ragupathy.
|India preliminary squad for FIBA Asia Challenge|
|Akilan Pari||Amritpal Singh||Amjyot Singh||Vishesh Bhriguvanshi|
|Prasanna Venkatesh Sivakumar||Yadwinder Singh||Arvind Arumugam||Basil Philip|
|Arjun Singh||Anil Kumar Bukankere Krishna Gowda||Aravind Annadurai||Talwinderjit Singh|
|Rikin Shantilal Pethani||Ravi Bhardwaj||Arshpreet Singh||Baladhaneshwar Poiyamozhi|
|Sahil||Vishal Kumar Gupta||Hariram Ragupathy||Satnam Singh Bhamara|
All four represented India at the FIBA Asia U18 Championship in Tehran, Iran last month and guided the South Asians to the Quarter-Finals for the first times since 2004.
“We are calling up the top four U18 players to the camp site. This will help them get some exposure, develop confidence and see the next level they have to work towards,” explained assistant coach CV Sunny.
As part of their preparations for the FIBA Asia Challenge, the team travelled to Chinese Taipei to participate in the 38th Annual William Jones Cup.
India recorded only a single victory in that tournament (their first ever) and lost seven, but Sunny believes that the tournament was exactly the kind of exposure the team needed ahead of the FIBA Asia Challenge.
“We as a team got some great exposure and gained a lot of experience there. This will definitely help us to improve our performance in the upcoming FIBA Asia Challenge. The confidence level of the team has gone up after playing against some tough teams.”
India made history in the 2014 FIBA Asia Cup by beating host nation China for the first time ever. They went on to finish 7th.
The top five teams in the FIBA Asia Challenge will earn for their respective sub-zones an extra berth in the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup (formerly the FIBA Asia Championship).