FIBA Under-18: India finishes in eighth place

India went down 64-67 to a Philippines side ranked 24 places higher, with fine performances from Vishal Gupta and Hariram Raghupathy.

India's Hariram Raghupathy in action against Philippines.   -  FIBA

India ended its campaign at the 24th FIBA Asia under-18 men’s basketball championship in eighth place, after nearly pulling off an upset win over the Philippines in its final classification match, here on Sunday. India went down 64-67 to a Philippines side ranked 24 places higher, with fine performances from Vishal Gupta and Hariram Raghupathy.

The last time the Indian under-18 men’s team had entered the quarterfinals was back in 2004, when it was placed seventh.

The results: The Philippines 67 (Jolo Mendoza 15, Fran Yu 14, John Bahio 10) bt India 64 (Vishal Gupta 20, Hariram Ragupathy 18, Rachit 13).

Signing off with a loss

Meanwhile in New Taipei City (Taiwan), India finished its engagements at the 38th William Jones Cup basketball tournament with a 56-71 loss to Iran.

India kept pace with its opponent for the first three quarters, before Iran went on a 15-6 final quarter run. Captain Amritpal Singh recorded 22 points and nine rebounds while forward Amjyot Singh had to return to Japan to fulfil his club commitments. Aravind Annadurai filled in for the latter, scoring 12 points.

Though India ended its campaign with a 1-7 win-loss record, the team performed better than those numbers may indicate. There were narrow defeats to California State University and Chinese Taipei-A, while India matched Egypt, Iran and Mighty Sports (Philippines) for three quarters of those matches.

The results: Iran 71 (Yakhchali Behnam 15, Mozafarivanani Rasoul 11, Dalirzahan Vahid 11) bt India 56 (Amritpal Singh 22, Aravind Annadurai 12, Vishesh Bhriguvanshi 10).