The Basketball Federation of India, on Friday, appointed Zoran Visic as the head coach of the women’s basketball team, days before the start of the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup, which will be played between July 23 to 29 in Bengaluru.
Speaking to reporters, Visic said the Indian B Division team hopes to meet Lebanon in the final of Asia Cup and he expects India to beat Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan in Group A league matches. “We hope to meet the tall and sturdy Lebanese team in the final. We have the ability to beat Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan in league matches,” he said. Though height of the players is an issue, the Indian side is good at both attacking and defensive game, Visic said.
“Lebanese players have good height, and our problem is with the size little bit, but on the whole, the Indian side is good at attacking and defending,” he said. India has the 6 foot 11 inch Poonam Chaturvedi in the side. “Our problem is height compared to Labanese players who are tall. We have this Poonam girl, but she is limited. We cannot expect much from her because she is not strong,” she said.
Poonam is the tallest woman hoopster in the country. Replying to a query, Visic said the players have good chemistry. “The players have good chemistry and girls are really good. They are hard working and smart too. So, you have everything to come out with flying colours,” he said. On May 27, BFI President K Govindaraj had announced the draw for divisions A and B.
Host nation India will meet Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan in Group A. Lebanon, Singapore, Kazakhstan and Fiji make up Group B. The winners will be promoted to Division A. The event is the regional qualifier for the 2018 Women’s Basketball World Cup, due to be held in Spain from September 22 to 30.