Basketball has featured in every edition of the Asian Games. In fact, the event was regarded as the de facto continental championship until the 1960 Asian Basketball Confederation Championship in Manila. At the Asian Games, China has dominated, winning 12 gold medals (men’s and women’s combined). At the 2014 edition in Incheon, host South Korea triumphed in both events.
India, on the other hand, has a poor record. The men’s team’s best performance — fourth place — came in the inaugural edition on home turf in New Delhi. In the last three editions, the country has finished 17th, 11th and ninth, respectively. Citing this poor record, the Indian Olympic Association decided not to send a team for the 5x5 event to Jakarta-Palembang. Altercations and disharmony within the team at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast earlier this year probably didn’t help its cause.
That leaves Indian hopes resting on the shoulders of the women’s team — which, like the men’s, is still awaiting a first medal in basketball. In 2014, the women’s team placed sixth, marginally better than the men’s. In Jakarta, India has been grouped with a combined North and South Korea team, Chinese Taipei, Kazakhstan and Indonesia, with the top four qualifying for the quarterfinals. India can aspire to squeeze past Kazakhstan and Indonesia to reach the last eight, but further inroads will be extremely tough. India has not entered teams in either of the 3x3 events.
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