The 68th edition of the National Basketball Championship kicked off at the Nehru Indoor Stadium on Wednesday and the hosts Tamil Nadu are upbeat ahead of the Women’s category of the tournament but their main hopes will lie on the performance of real-life sisters S.Satya and S.Pushpa. Both of the girls play as a pivot and will shoulder the responsibility of guiding their team to the business end of the tournament by securing wins in the preliminary round against the Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka in Group ‘A’.
It will be the first time that the siblings will be performing together for the Senior State Team as they have only represented their district Nagapattinam prior to the National Championship. Satya feels that they are one of the favourites to reach the final of the Championships apart from Indian Railways.
“We have a very good chance of reaching the final. Apart from us, I feel Indian Railways are strong contenders. We are very motivated to do well and at least make the final. We normally make mistakes in the latter stages. We want to avoid that this time around,’ said Satya, who will be featuring in her second National Championships.
She also informed that she started to play Netball just a few years back, but her coach encouraged her to play Basketball as the State Authority of India (SAI) in Madurai did not have a Basketball team. She was encouraged by her sister Pushpa to appear in the trials.
“I started off playing netball when I was in standard XII. “It was my netball coach who told me to go to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Mayiladuthurai. They did not even have a women’s basketball team then. But since I was tall, I was encouraged to take up basketball,’ said the 20-year old Satya.
Her younger sister Pushpa, who is 16 years old, will be travelling to the United States of America as India’s only candidate for NBA’s Basketball without Borders later this year. Both the Tamil Nadu girls are making the State and the nation proud; hopefully, it will improve the condition of Basketball in our country.