India’s brilliant run comes to an end

Returning to the knockout stage after a gap of 12 years, the Indian cagers fought tooth and nail against China, one of the top sides in the continent, but ultimately fell short to lose 58-104. The last time the two teams faced each other was in the 5th FIBA Asia Cup in 2014, when India  had stunned their opponents 65-58. 

Amjyot Singh of India (second from right) is action against Philippines earlier in the tournamnet.   -  AP

The impressive run of the Indian men's basketball team ended today with a loss to hosts Chgina in the quarter-finals of the 28th FIBA Asia Championships.

Returning to the knockout stage after a gap of 12 years, the Indian cagers fought tooth and nail against China, one of the top sides in the continent, but ultimately fell short to lose 58-104. The last time the two teams faced each other was in the 5th FIBA Asia Cup in 2014, when India had stunned their opponents 65-58.

In the quart-final game, India were ahead in the initial few minutes before China, led by former NBA centre Yi Jianlian, turned the tables. The Indians lost 15-27, 14-29, 11-19, 18-29.

For India, overall tournament top scorer Amjyot Singh was aggressively man-marked and hence small forward Yadwinder Singh and captain Vishesh Bhriguvanshi took up most of the scoring load. Though their run in the main competition ended with the defeat, the Indians will play two classification games, starting with the first one against Korea tomorrow. If the Indians can score an upset win over the Koreans, they can at least secure sixth place and that would be their best ever tournament ranking since 1989.