Bengaluru, 24 Oct 2018: Entry of Australia adds glitz to the FIBA under-19 Women’s Asian Championship and the quality of the game is expected to rise when the cream of talent in this age group from the 16 countries descends on the Garden City to book their berth for the 2019 under-19 Women’s World Cup.
Australia and New Zealand, popular as Gems and Tall Ferns, are part of Oceania, and are clubbed with the Asian event for the first time. Making the last-four should be a cake-walk for Aussie girls, but can Japan or China make them fight for the title. The top four in the premier A Division will qualify for the 2019 World Cup in Thailand. Another eight teams will battle for honours in Division B, where India targets the top place to re-enter the elite group for the 2020 edition emulating the senior women and U16 girls teams who got promoted back to Division A in 2017. Ranked 7, and a top-10 across all age groups, Australia has expectedly been dominant against Asia’s elite. However, more than the defending champions China, Japan are likely to provide stiff resistance to the Aussie power.
Organised by the Karnataka State Basketball Association under the aegis of Basketball Federation of India, the 7-day competition is supported by Karnataka’s Department of Youth Empowerment and Sport and the early games are played at both at Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium and the Koramangala Indoor Stadium with the final on November 3 slated to be held at the international standard facility at Sree Kanteerava Stadium. which also hosts all the Indian matches. The gates are free.
“Another remarkable milestone is being added to the glorious history of Sree Kanteerava Stadium and in our great Indian tradition of Athithi Devo Bhavah I will personally ensure that all the participants and officials from all the countries feel at home,” said K Govindaraj, President, Basketball Federation of India.
“The basketball feast will be nothing short of world-class action and it will provide a glimpse into the future of women’s basketball in Asia. For us, it is also an opportunity to gauge the challenges that face Indian youngsters in international competitions and prepare them for tougher and higher tests in future,” said Chander Mukhi Sharma, General Secretary BFI at the press conference held on Wednesday evening.
All games for the tournament will be live-streamed via FIBA’s YouTube channel