FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers: Depleted India resume campaign, focus on junior NBA cager Princepal Singh

The Indian basketball team has recorded a win and a loss in the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers so far. India will play against Lebanon and Bahrain next.

By Naveen Peter ·

The Indian basketball team, led by captain Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, will be eager to shine when the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers resume next week.

The Indian hoopsters are scheduled to face Lebanon on November 27 and Bahrain on November 29 in their Group D matches, which will be played inside a bio-secure environment in Manama, Bahrain.

With a win and a loss so far, the Indian basketball team is placed third in the four-team group and will be eyeing a direct qualification for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup.

Experienced players Amritpal Singh and Aravind Annadurai were instrumental in the victory. This time though, the Indian basketball team will have to do without their services as both miss out due to various reasons.

The focus will be on Muin Bek Hafeez, a 24-year-old point guard who top-scored against Iraq, and the power forward from NBA G-League, 19-year-old Princepal Singh.

Helping the young boys will be the experienced Prasanna Venkatesh, Jagdeep Singh, Amjyot Singh and captain Bhriguvanshi.

While heavyweights Lebanon are on top of the group with two wins in as many matches, Bahrain are second, ahead only on a better head-to-head record against India. Iraq are the fourth team in the group and yet to win a match.

India’s run in the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers so far has been eventful. In the opening game, India were edged out in the dying minutes by Bahrain but they came back roaring in the second match to beat Iraq 94-75.

Road to FIBA Asia Cup 2021

The redesigned qualification process for the FIBA Asia Cup has seen the 16 Division ‘A’ teams and the eight best Division ‘B’ teams in the continent being drawn into six groups of four each.

Each team in the group is scheduled to play the other three sides on a home and away basis with the top two nations at the end of the group stage gaining direct entry into the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup.

Meanwhile, the six third-placed teams will head into the final round of qualification where they will be further divided into two groups of three with the top two qualifying for the main event in 2021.

Indian basketball squad for FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers: Vishesh Bhirguvanshi (c), Muin Bek Hafeez, Prasanna Venkatesh, Princepal Singh, Jagdeep Singh, Amjyot Singh, Prashant Singh, Sahaj Patel, Sahaij Pratap Singh Sekhon, Anil Kumar Gowda, Sejin Mathew, Sharad Dadich.