FIBA World Cup Qualifiers: India aiming to redeem itself with win over Syria

After suffering a heavy 72-107 defeat to Lebanon in its opening group match, India will look to redeem itself against Syria in their FIBA Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers clash.

Amritpal Singh failed to deliver in India's opening FIBA Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers group match, where it suffered a heavy 72-107 defeat to Lebanon. (File Photo)

India will look to get its FIBA Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers (first round) campaign on track when it takes on Syria at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium here on Sunday.

In its opening group match held a few days ago, India suffered a heavy 72-107 defeat to Lebanon. Only Gurvinder Gill and Palpreet Brar – both recorded 13 points each – were able to put up double-digit numbers. Big things were expected from Amritpal Singh and Satnam Singh, but both players flattered to deceive. The side will hope for a better showing on Sunday.

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Syria, however, is no pushover. The visitor finished a creditable 10th in the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup, while India placed 14th. When the two sides met at the continental championship, Syria emerged a close 87-78 winner. In Micheal Madanly and Tarek Al-Jabi, the side has two
shooting guards of high quality.

India head coach Zoran Visic said, "Syria plays good zone basketball. When we faced them at the Asia Cup, we gave away too many turnovers. We need to control the pace of the action." Visic added that the absence of Amjyot Singh (away with his commitments in the NBA G League) and Vishesh Bhriguvanshi (injury) is a cause for concern.

Organisers, meanwhile, have decided to allow free entry to the stadium on match-day. Tickets were on sale (price range ₹500 to ₹1,250) on www.ticketgenie.in and at box office counters until the announcement. BFI President, K. Govindaraj, said, “Those who have already bought tickets can collect refunds at the stadium tomorrow."

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“For the first time in many years, Bengaluru has got the chance to host a high-level men’s international match. Therefore, we thought it is best to allow free entry," Govindraj explained.

Tickets were sold for the two previous events – FIBA Asia Women’s Championship and FIBA Asia Under-16 Championship for Women – held at the same venue earlier this year.