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India banking on home advantage to score first win in 2025 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers

New Delhi, Feb 25 : India will be looking to bag their first victory in the 2025 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers when they take on the formidable Iran in the Group E clash at the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall, Indira Gandhi Stadium here on Monday.

The Asia Cup comprising a total of 24 countries, divided into six groups are competing in a round-robin qualifying tournament till February next year. The Indian team is placed in Group E of the qualifiers along with Qatar, Kazakhstan and Iran.

Last week, the national side went down to a much higher-ranked Kazakhstan in their group opener in Astana.

The Indian team have been undergoing a focused and preparatory training camp at the National Sports Centre in Chennai for the first time since January for ongoing the Asia Cup qualifier.

Coached by Serbian Veselin Matic and a team of support staff comprising of strength and conditioning trainers, two physiotherapists and assistant coaches- this six-week training camp has helped players to prepare well. The Coach is impressed with their competitive spirit and is banking on home support and conditions to get the much-anticipated points table.

Led by Amritpal Singh, the Indian team had started strong against Kazakhstan with point guard M Arvind Kumar doing the bulk of the scoring and centre Palpreet Singh Brar impressing on both ends of the court.

Speaking on the eve of the match, captain Amritpal Singh said, “There were a few learnings from the game against Kazakhstan and we are looking forward to putting our best foot forward in front of our supporters.

Even though these are early days in the round-robin stage, Indians would want to score as many points at home and are well aware that Iran won’t be an easy opponent.

Basketball Federation of India President Adhav Arjuna said, “_The BFI is committed to making India a formidable force in Asian Basketball and starting with this Asia Cup qualifier, which is an important tournament in the Asian Calendar to gauge our progress and plan for the future. I am confident that the players have trained and will give their best shot in Delhi.”_

Qatar is the fourth team in the group and all teams will play against each other home and away with the top two teams in the group qualifying for the Asia Cup next year. The third team in the group will get another chance to qualify through the final qualifying tournament.

India Team: Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, M Arvind Kumar, Muin Bek H, Pranav Prince, Amritpal Singh, Kanwar Gurbaz Singh Sandhu, Palpreet Singh, Amarendra Nayak, Vaishak K Manoj, Princepal Singh, Sahaij Pratap Singh Sekhon, P Baladaneshwar
Coach: Veselin Matic

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