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Basketball - 06. June 2007.

IND - Indian ace seeks better challenges

INCHEON (FIBA Asia Championship for Women) - With a 30-plus scoring rate from each game, India's Geethu Anna Jose has emerged as the leading scorer and the rebound collector after two days of the Championship. The first Indian woman to display her wares in the Australian professional league spoke to FIBA Asia on the sidelines of the Championship.

FIBA Asia: Two days into the championship, you have logged a 30-plus average and a double-digit rebound rate…
Geethu: I really don't think I was tested completely. So I'm really not reading too much into this. What I'm really happy about is that my performance helped in the team winning. And by huge margins at that. A win is a win, but when you win by such margins the boost your morale gets is something different.

FIBA Asia: Are you saying you are not too happy?
Geethu: In a manner of speaking, yes. I would have personally liked to play against much stronger competition. That's the reason I don't feel fully tested. I look at improving my game all the time. Stronger competition always helps.

FIBA Asia: Where does this Championship figure in your personal scheme of things?
Geethu: Very high. It's been quite a while since India figured in the Level I of the competition. So qualifying to Level I is very crucial for us and the future of Indian basketball.

FIBA Asia: Your Australian plans…
Geethu: Last year was very good. Winning the Player of the Month (Aug 2006), becoming the first player from Division II to make the All Stars et al. It was really heady. But my main aim is to come up with useful contributions for the National team.

FIBA Asia: Can you elaborate on that?
Geethu: You see, there are many girls who are as talented as I am and some even more talented. But not all of them get a chance for this (Pro league) kind of exposure. I have been lucky. So if I can make use of my Pro league experience and implement a few things I learn there with the National team, I'll be happier.

S Mageshwaran

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