Indian cagers face tough task in Asian Games

Mumbai: India`s men cagers have been grouped with Afghanistan in the preliminary draw with the winner of this group progressing to the second stage of the Asian Games basketball competition in Guangzhou, China next month.

Provided India win against the unknown lot from Afghanistan, they would progress to the second league stage and would be clubbed with Qatar, who finished fifth in the last ABC, continental champions Iran, Japan, Taipei and either Saudi Arabia or the Philippines, as per the draw released by the Guangzhou Games organisers.

A total of 17 nations have entered the men`s competition.

The Asian Games are scheduled from November 12-27 and the basketball competitions for men and women would be held from November 13-26.

The women`s competition involves only 7 teams and India are grouped with continental champions South Korea, runners-up China and Thailand with the other group comprising Taipei, Japan and Maldives.

Whether the Indian hoopsters are part of the final Games contingent would be known later, according to Basketball Federation of India`s associate secretary M Venkatesh.

"We will know that only later as the call is to be taken by the government. But our basketballers are in the thick of the preparatory camp in Chennai," said Venkatesh.


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