Iran outclass India in FIBA Asia Cup basketball tournament opener
Indian basketball team was slow out of the blocks, and fell behind 8-29 in the first quarter. From there on, the lead continued to grow as Iran basketball team outscored the Indians in every quarter.other sports Updated: Aug 09, 2017 22:45 IST
The Indian men’s basketball team began their FIBA Asia Cup 2017 campaign with a 54 -101 loss against favourites Iran in Beirut, Lebanon, on Wednesday.
India were slow out of the blocks, and fell behind 8-29 in the first quarter. From there on, the lead continued to grow as Iran outscored the Indians in every quarter.
Iran are ranked 25th in the FIBA World Rankings, and showcased their offensive abilities in a clinical performance. They were shooting the ball at an impressive 51%, and had five players finish the game with scoring in double figures. Iran’s 7ft, 2” centre Hamed Hadadi has played in the NBA (for the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns) and was at his imposing best against India, top scoring with 20 points and dishing out 8 assists.
For India, Amjyot Singh Gill was the only player who broke double figures with 10 points. India will be hoping to tighten up its game on both ends of the floor as it looks to qualify for the second phase of the tournament.
The Indian men will play their second match against 28th ranked Jordan on Friday and their final group stage fixture against Syria on Sunday.
The FIBA Asia Cup 2017 is being played in Lebanon from August 8-20. For the first time in history, the tournament features Oceania powerhouses Australia and New Zealand, as sixteen teams battle for top honours in Asia.
India is in Group A, along with Jordan, Syria, and three-time Asian champions Iran. The remaining groups comprise the following teams: Iraq, China, Philippines, and Qatar (Group B); Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Korea, and New Zealand (Group C); and Japan, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, and Australia (Group D).
The top three teams from each group will advance to the second phase.