RE The Pakistan Basketball Federation has announced a 15-member squad for the 11th South Asian Games, which will be held in the Bangladeshi capital in January-February this year.
The squad includes 12 players, two coaches and a manager. Nawazish Ali was named as the captain. Other members of the team are Mudassar Khan, Pervaiz Hussain, Waheed Iqbal, Waheed Akhtar, Ahmad Jan, Mohammad Prem Shahzad, Muhammad Akhtar, Asfandyar, Gul Jamal, Zahid Mahmood and Naimatullah.
According to a press release of the federation, Abdul Ghafoor is the head coach while Imran Bashir is the coach. Sheikh Muhammad Naeem will accompany the team as manager.
The team was approved by the executive committee of the Pakistan Basketball Federation during a meeting held here earlier this month.
As many as 20 players were named for the training camp - currently underway at Islamabads Pakistan Sports Complex - after the National Basketball Championship in April this year. However, the federation gave another chance to aspiring players to make the team by holding three-day open trials at the Hamidi Hall. Around 38 players took part in the trials in November, from which 20 probables were retained to undergo training under the supervision of Abdul Ghafoor and Imran Bashir.
On the basis of the players fitness and performance during the training camp, 12 were named to represent Pakistan in the regional extravaganza.
Though the coaches feel that the players are short on international experience, they are hoping for a good showing in the 11th South Asian Games.
We have been working hard with the boys in the training camp and I hope our efforts will pay dividends, Abdul Ghafoor said. Imran Bashir was confident that Pakistan will be vying for the gold medal in the SAG. We have done well in the past in the South Asian Games and we will be giving our best in Dhaka too, he said.
Basketball has only been part of the South Asian Games on three occasions. Pakistan finished runners-up to India in all three editions.