It's been a little over a month since India hired Serbia's Zoran Visic to be the head coach of the Senior Women's National Basketball Team, with an eye for the marquee event of the summer: the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup for Women. Now, with about two weeks to go before the big tournament, Visic will get the first chance to see how the past month of practice and team-building has paid out as India's Women's NT have headed to Chinese Taipei to take part in the 39th William Jones Cup from July 5-9.
This will be a chance for India's first competitive games under the new coach. India's squad will be captained by veteran star Anitha Paul Durai and feature other talents to watch like Jeena Scaria, Kavita Akula, Poojamol Subhashmon, and Shireen Limaye. Visic will be joined in the coaching staff by veteran coach Shiba Maggon.
India roster for 39th William Jones Cup
- Anitha Paul Durai - captain
- Anjana Geetha
- Anmolpreet Kaur
- Barkha Sonkar
- Jeena Scaria
- Kavita Akula
- Navaneetha Udayakumar
- Poojamol Subhashmon
- Rajapriyadarshani Rajaganapathi
- Raspreet Sidhu
- Shireen Limaye
- Poonam Chaturvedi
- Head Coach: Zoran Visic
- Assistant Coach: Shiba Maggon
- Manager: Srinivasa Murthy
Last year, the South Korean team took the gold in the women’s tournament, while Japan and Chinese Taipei A finished second and third respectively.
India's schedule at 39th William Jones Cup for Women - all timings IST
- July 5 - New Zealand vs. India - 11:30 AM
- July 6 - Japan vs. India - 11:30 AM
- July 7 - South Korea vs. India - 11:30 AM
- July 8 - India vs. Chinese Taipei Blue - 3:30 PM
- July 9 - Chinese Taipei White vs. India - 1:30 PM
"Our team is very fast, very quick, and they are very good athletes," Visic had told me in an extensive interview for Scroll last week. "So, we can work with this positive and to try as much as possible to cover the ‘negative’ part – our inexperience."
This tournament should serve as important match practice for India as the team gears up for the FIBA Asia Cup, the biggest tournament in Asia which will be hosted by India in Bengaluru this year. India will play in the men's edition of the William Jones Cup, too, which will be held in Chinese Taipei from July 15-23.
The William Jones Cup is a basketball tournament that has been held annually in Chinese Taipei since 1977. The tournament was named in honor of Renato William Jones, who was one of the founders of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). One team represents each country, and that team could be the national team, a professional club, or a college team. The tournament will be played in a single round-robin format, and the final points tally will determine the placing of the teams.