Indian Basketball seems to be going through an upward spiral currently with positive news coming in from almost directions. Perhaps the only loss that the game has seen in the past few months has been the senior men’s team’s disastrous performance at the FIBA Asia Cup held in Lebanon earlier last month.
But compare that to the women’s team’s amazing performance which led them to ultimately win the second division of the Asia Cup held in Bengaluru and one might not be too far removed in saying that the culture of basketball in India is here to stay. And with players of the sport getting noticed for the Arjuna Award too, one might be hopeful of the game finally getting the recognition it deserves. If that isn’t enough, the team of youngsters from India have been making a mark at the South Asia Basketball Association U16 Championships currently ongoing in Kathmandu.
For their first game, the Colts certainly epitomised the very term “dominant” as they defeated Maldives by an astounding margin of 152-17. A scoreline such as this speaks volumes about the kind of upcoming talent and skill that is present in abundance at the junior levels of the sport. India’s game was led by Prince Pal Singh who scored 31 points. Harshwardhan Tomar came in a close second on the score list with 24 points while Binod Rajak ended up contributing 20 points to the scoreline. In this game, 6 of India’s players registered double digit points.
And if that was not enough cause for celebration, India carried on the momentum from the first game to make it 2 wins out of 2 in their second match against Bangladesh. This game was not as one sided as the previous one with the final scoreline reading 83-64. This time, it was Priyanshu’s 32 point extravaganza which led to India’s victory. A look at the scorelines in all four quarters would reveal that the team from Bangladesh never really put up a fight in any of them except the second and the final one. The scores from each quarter read 26-13, 16-18, 16-9, 25-24.
It is always a positive development when junior teams perform well in international competitions. It implies that the future of the game is in good hands. India’s next game is against the hosts Nepal at 1.15 pm on Friday.