BANGALORE, India (3rd Asian Beach Games): Geethu Anna Jose, arguably the synonym for Indian women’s basketball, played an expectedly pivotal role in leading India to their first ever gold in an international competition at the 3rd Asian Beach Games at Haiyang earlier this week.
Jose (#6 in pic above seen celebrating with Shireen Limaye the youngest member of the team), who last year became the first Indian woman to try her hand at the WNBA tryouts, scored an aggregate of 45 points including 11 in the gold medal game against China, as Indian women finished the competition unbeaten winning all the five games.
“I think the way we started set the tone,” Jose said.
India beat Thailand 17-12 in the opening game of the competition to set the ball rolling.
“You see we had never beaten Thailand before. That win came kind of boosted the girls’ confidence,” Jose said.
“They were killing us. We were literally on the floor. They were double-teaming me, but it meant that the others were open to score,” Jose said about the challenges posed by the opponents.
“The other sides were very physical, but we had good understanding and played as a team. I can’t believe we won,” Jose said.
“We thought we’d already made history by reaching the final. We were excited and a little nervous. China had the complete support of the crowd. We didn’t, yet we somehow managed to win,” she said.
“It’s a big step for Indian women’s basketball.”