On Sunday, Nov. 7, the Basketball Federation of India announced the senior men's basketball team for the upcoming SABA Men Championship 2021.
The competition, organized by the South Asia Basketball Association which is a sub-zone of the FIBA Asia, is to be held between Nov. 15-20 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Indian🇮🇳 Sr Men Basketball 🏀 Team for SABA Men Championship 2021.- #IndiaBasketball (@BFI_basketball) November 7, 2021
Let's cheer for the Indian🇮🇳 Sr Men Basketball 🏀 Team#basketballfederationofIndia #BFI pic.twitter.com/Z26dlGcaTb
The roster, that met up with the Governer of Karnataka Thawar Chand Gehlot yesterday before departing, is an experienced group including the Big 3 of Indian basketball in Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, former NBA G Leaguer Amjyot Singh and Amritpal Singh.
Here's a look at the complete roster with key data:
|Muin Bek Hafeez||6-foot-2, Point Guard|
|M Arvind Kumar||6-foot-2, Point Guard|
|Palpreet Singh Brar||6-foot-8, Forward|
|Deepak Choudhary||6-foot-5, Guard|
|Amjyot Singh Gill||6-foot-8, Forward|
|Amritpal Singh||6-foot-10, Center|
|Piyush Meena||6-foot-9, Center|
|Sejin Mathew||6-foot-6, Power Forward|
|Prashant Singh Rawat||6-foot-8, Power Forward|
|Vishesh Bhriguvanshi||6-foot-4, Guard|
|Shashank Rai||6-foot-5, Forward|
|Lalrina Renthlei||6 foot, Point Guard|
*As per FIBA
The 12-man roster, led by Serbian head coach Veselin Matic, also includes a couple of NBA Academy India alum - Seijin Mathew and Prashant Singh Rawat.
The duo were part of the NBA Academy India's first class of 21 student-athletes when it opened in May of 2017.
India's history at SABA Championships
The 2021 SABA Men's Championship is the eighth edition of the tournament since its inception in 2002 with India being crowned the champions in each of the five editions that they participated (2002, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017).
Prior to the FIBA's new qualification system for the continental cups, enforced in 2017, this competition served as a means of qualification to notable FIBA events such as the FIBA Asia Championship and the FIBA Asia Cup.
India didn't participate in the most recent SABA Championship, which was also held in Dhaka in 2018, as it was one of the 16 teams that had participated in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers. Instead, the 2018 edition was used to determine the final two nations from South Asia that would participate in the 24-nation 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.
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