Bhriguvanshi looking to make up for lost time

With his ligament injury preventing him from taking the court in Australia's National Basketball League and India's 2019 FIBA World Cup qualification campaign, Vishesh Bhriguvanshi is all set to make amends in the upcoming FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup.

Vishesh Bhriguvanshi

Vishesh Bhriguvanshi (File photo)   -  AFP

An anterior cruciate ligament injury kept Indian basketball team captain Vishesh Bhriguvanshi out of action for the whole of last year. Having made a full recovery, he is now keen to make up for lost time.

He first suffered the injury in the 2017 BRICS Games in China, and things took a turn for the worse in the FIBA Asia Champions Cup later the same year.

“I did my rehabilitation after the BRICS Games, but the injury recurred during the Champions Cup,” Bhriguvanshi told Sportstar on Saturday.

He was forced to miss India’s 2019 FIBA World Cup qualification campaign. India suffered in his absence, losing all six of its Group C matches to exit in the first round.

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“When I first learnt that we were going to face teams like Jordan, Syria and Lebanon in the World Cup qualifiers, I was excited. We had the Commonwealth Games coming up, too. But the injury ruined all my plans,” Bhriguvanshi said.

Bhriguvanshi also missed a chance to play professional basketball in Australia’s National Basketball League. He had signed a one-year training contract with Adelaide 36ers, but the injury prevented him from taking the court.

The 27-year-old, now fit and raring to go, is looking forward to doing well in the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup.

“3x3 basketball is a very high-intensity, 10-minute game. Every single possession is important. If you make a basket, you must go on defence immediately. There is no time to rest,” Bhriguvanshi says, adding, “Having sat out a whole year, I’m motivated to do well.”

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Vishesh Bhriguvanshi and Raspreet Sidhu will lead the Indian teams in the fourth edition of the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup basketball tournament, which will commence at Changsha (China) on Wednesday.

The men’s team is placed in qualifying draw ‘B’, alongside South Korea, Malaysia and Vanuatu.

The women are placed in qualifying draw ‘B’, alongside Malaysia, Maldives and Thailand. Both the squads are packed with quality players with international experience.

 

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The Indian teams at the kit distribution ceremony ahead of the FIBA 3x3 Asia cup.   -  Ashwin Achal

The 3x3 format is a half-court, abridged, fast-paced version of the sport, which is growing in popularity across the world.

The team which makes 21 points first in the 10-minute games is declared the winner.

The Indian women’s team won the inaugural 2013 edition, while the men’s best show was a quarterfinal finish in the same edition.

The Indian teams:

Men: Vishesh Bhriguvanshi (captain), Yadwinder Singh, Akilan Pari, Arshpreet Singh

Women: Raspreet Sidhu (captain), Shireen Limaye, H.M. Bhandavya, Sreekala Rani