Dubai: The Indian national basketball team will participate in the inaugural B&B International Basketball Championships, to be held at Al Nasr Club later this summer.
The Indian team was among the earliest to confirm its participation for this tournament that is expected to have some of the top club teams from Asia also competing when the competition is held from August 20-27. Governed by the Basketball Federation of India (BFI), the national side is being trained by American coach Scott William Fleming since 2012.
A 1936 founding member of FIBA Asia, India has one of Asia’s longest basketball traditions with Team India qualifying for the FIBA Asia Championship 22 times. Though India has never won any medal in the continental competition, they have clinched three gold medals and one silver at the South Asian Games.
Team India’s most recent international success was when the side maintained a clean record to win the gold medal at the 2014 Lusofonia Games held in Goa. “Having the Indian team in Dubai for this international competition is a huge achievement for us. We hope the Indian supporters come and back their team,” B&B General Manager, Abdullah Murad told Gulf News.
“In the past we have seen the huge response Indian teams have got in Dubai and I am convinced it will be no different this time,” he added.
Iraq is the other national team that has been invited along with top club sides from Malaysia, Australia, Lebanon, South Korea, China and the Philippines.
Invitations have been sent out to the Kelantan Warriors from Kuala Lumpur, the Wollongong Hawks from New South Wales, Australia, two-time former Fiba Asia Champions Cup winners Al Hekmeh Sagesse from Lebanon, Changwon LG Sakers from South Korea, Dongguan New Century Leopards from China and Air21 Express team that plays in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). Joining these international sides will be local teams Al Wasl and Al Nasr.
“We have narrowed down on some of the top teams in Asia as we want the general public to attend and enjoy wholesome family entertainment,” Murad said.
“We are still in contact with other international club teams and there will be additions as we build up towards this competition,” he added.