Indian women strike gold at inaugural FIBA Asia 3x3 in Doha, Qatar
INVC, Doha, Indian women who came into the competition as the overwhelming favorites kept their tryst with the gold medal sweeping all opposition that came their way. Carrying forward the form of three successive wins on the opening day, the Indian women with Geethu Anna Jose at the vanguard of their challenge, won the three play-off games without raising much sweat. India won all their three games reaching the 21-point mark with ample time left on the clock in each of their games. “We achieved what we set out for,” said Jose, who was an overwhelming favorite in the All Stars nominations.“Things worked out rather well to our satisfaction and each of the team gave their contribution,” she said. Jose was at the vanguard, but the rest of the Indian members indeed have their share in the victory – first for India at level in any competition in FIBA Asia events. India had won the gold at the Asian Beach Games at Haiyang last year. Anitha Pauldurai was as crafty as ever in marshalling the resources and puncturing holes in the rival defense with her outside shooting and Manisha Dange gave a good account of herself in her comeback to international competitions with Pratima Singh providing the needed support. As Pauldurai put it, “it was a team effort that helped India’s win.” Mongolia and Turkmenistan the other two medalists went through bitter-sweet moments each in the opposite order. Mongolia were gung-ho on beating Turkmenistan in the semifinals, despite playing with only two players – the other two having ejected four fouls apiece – but when it came to the gold medal game they found the experience and expertise of the Indian line-up a little too hot to handle. Nevertheless Mongolian women are returning home with their hearts filled with pride. “It’s not every day that we get an opportunity to celebrate a medal in international basketball,” said the Mongolian team almost in chorus. Turkmen women on the other hand, were visibly distraught after losing to Mongolia, but their moment of joy for the day in the bronze medal play-off.Nigyera Nagiyeva’s sizzling long ranger burnt the basket clinching the bronze medal in Overtime after tying at 8-8 at the end of Regulation time against Hong Kong.