Team England’s Men will look to rebound from their opening day loss with a victory against India tomorrow morning. Coach Kapoulas’ side dropped their first game in Pool B after coming up short against rivals Scotland 65-78 and need to find their feet quickly.
“Despite the disappointing loss to Scotland, it’s tournament play and we need to think about the next game,” said Kapoulas. “For us, that’s the only thing in our mind. We’ve put the loss behind us, we’ve learned from it, we’ve reviewed things and now we’re fully concentrating on what is ahead of us.”
India also lost their opening Pool B game, fading badly as a 63-39 half time lead turned into a 96-87 defeat against Cameroon. Still, the India roster contains a number of dangerous players that Team England will need to be aware of. Amjyot Singh enjoyed 23 points, seven rebounds and four assists in his team’s opening game and the 6’8” forward currently plays in the NBA G-League for the minor league affiliate of the Oklahoma City Thunder. 7’2” Satnam Bhamara is another player with NBA links after he was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in the 2nd round of the 2015 draft. An understandable rim protector, his size will be an issue in the paint at both ends of the court.
Amritpal Singh is a player that will be well known in the Team England camp. He recently featured in Australia’s NBL when he joined the Sydney Kings last year, becoming a team mate of England’s Adam Thoseby in the process. In captain Yadwinder Singh India also have plenty of experience, the 31-year-old is the side’s only returning member from the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
Regardless of tomorrow’s opposition, England need to be focussed on the task at hand. Dwelling on their opening day performance is something the team can ill afford in this type of competition, “I think you can’t focus on your losses. When it’s done its done,” said forward Jamell Anderson. “We’ve talked about it and we know we can do better. We will do better and we’re ready to go against India. We’ll be in the right frame of mind to perform at the level that we should be playing at.”
With both teams already having a loss to their name, England realistically need to beat both India and Cameroon for a chance to progress to the Semi-Finals. With the stakes so high, Coach Kapoulas isn’t taking this Indian side lightly, “We can’t take anything for granted. India have a lot of height and they shot the ball well against Cameroon. All the teams at this level are quality sides, we’ll have to put in a 40-minute performance if we want to win tomorrow’s game.”
Date: Saturday 7 April
Stage: Pool B – Group Play
How to follow: We’ll have coverage and commentary throughout the game on our Twitter and Instagram feeds, @bballengland. The game has also been chosen for live streaming by the BBC, so will be listed on the following page tomorrow: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/live-guide