BALI (FIBA 33/1st Asian Beach Games) - The national flag of India was raised yesterday for the first time in international basketball when the Indian Boys Team won the Gold medal of the inaugural Asian Beach Games held in Bali, Indonesia. In the Final, India defeated the Philippines (Silver), 23-17, while Malaysia clinched Bronze. In the Girls tournament, Japan took the Gold by beating Thailand (Silver), 33-27, and India claimed the Bronze.
Played on a synthetic court on the beach in Bali and using the 3-on-3 half court concept known as FIBA 33, the tournaments served as a further and most successful test event in preparation for the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. FIBA 33 is FIBA’s recent new discipline particularly aimed to encourage more young people into the game of basketball.
Despite rain delays on the start of the final two days, the FIBA 33 discipline proved that it can present an exciting action-packed spectacle which is greatly enjoyed by players and spectators alike. The tournaments, which featured eight men and five women’s national teams from Asia in the 17-year age group, were called by six young FIBA qualified referees and played under the direction of FIBA’s Sports Director, Lubomir Kotleba.
The synthetic SportCourt field of play is proving very good for the players and provides an attractive and safe outdoor surface for basketball. FIBA President Bob Elphinston and FIBA Asia Secretary General Dato’ Yeoh Choo Hock were very enthusiastic with the successful format and with the emergence of India and the Philippines in the youth categories in Asia. In India, results are starting to show thanks to the work of Serbian coach Aleksandar Bucan and, with increased Government support, the gigantic country can soon start challenging the best in Asia.
For further information on the whole FIBA 33 discipline, please refer to Press Release # 13/2008 or to the following link.