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2024 Olympics: Indian Men's Basketball Team's Pre-Qualifying Campaign tips off in Syria
The Indian men’s basketball team has qualified only once for the Olympics - way back in 1980. On 12th August, they will resume their unlikely quest for yet another shot at history.
The Indian men's basketball team is set to begin its uphill journey toward qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics. The action commences on August 12 in Syria, as they take on the hosts. The game is scheduled for 10:30pm IST at the Al Fayhaa Stadium in the capital city of Damascus.
The tournament brings together six nations: India, Syria, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Indonesia. South Korea and Chinese Taipei withdrew due to safety concerns, altering the competition dynamics, and making the qualification path much easier for the remaining teams.
The Pre-Qualifiers involve round-robin league matches and knockout rounds. Each team will face all opponents once, with the top four advancing to the semifinals and the subsequent finals. At stake is a spot in one of the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments in July of the following year - available only to the winning team from these pre-qualifiers.
India's Group Phase schedule in Indian Standard Time is as follows:
Saturday, 12th August: India vs Syria at 10:30pm
Sunday, 13th August: India vs Indonesia at 8:00pm
Monday, 14th August: India vs Kazakhstan at 5:30pm
Wednesday, 16th August: India vs Saudi Arabia at 5:30pm
Thursday, 17th August: India vs Bahrain at 5:30pm
All games will likely be available for streaming on FIBA's YouTube Channel.
The Indian Team Roster includes experienced players like Arjuna Awardee Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, Amjyot Singh, Aravind Annadurai, and Palpreet Singh Brar. Point guard Muin Bek Hafeez is a consistent member. Young talents like Prashant Singh Rawat, Sahaij Pratap Singh Sekhon, Arvind Kumar Muthu Krishnan, Pranav Prince, Amaan Sandhu, and Harsh Dagar are also part of the squad. Mirant Italia will make his debut for Team India.
Serbian coach Veselin Matic leads the team, with Santosh PS, Pradeep Tomar, and Vinod PG as assistants. Siva Shanmuga Veerapandi serves as the team physio.