Against all the odds, the Indian basketball team defeated Kazakhstan by 100-90 in its last Group E game. With this victory, Indian succeeds to secure a place in the quarterfinals of the FIBA Asia Challenge 2016. Before this, India (World Rank 54th) defeated China (World Rank 14th), that attracted all the eyeballs on the Indian team.
This is the third straight time the men’s team has progressed to the knockouts. After the win at Azadi Sports Complex, India entered the knockouts as the fourth team from the group behind China, Jordan and Taipei. India has completed the group stage engagements with a 3-2 win-loss ratio.
Summary of the Match
Led by the explosive T J Sahi, barring the first and third quarters, India looked in control against the weakest team in Group E. India’s energetic veteran sixth-man guard Talwinderjit Sahi shot 9/14 from 2-point range and hit 4 of his 9 attempted three-pointers, all of which came in the first half.
Sahi’s 25 point explosion in the first 20 minutes meant that India had converted a 2 point deficit at the end of the first quarter into an eight-point lead at halftime.
Going into the 4th period it could have been anybody’s game, but India’s veteran trio of Yadwinder Singh, Amjyot Singh and Amritpal Singh showed composure in facilitating yet another scoring surge. With three minutes left for the final buzzer, India’s lead was back to 10.
The seasoned guard duo of Vishesh Bhriguvanshi and Sahi joined in, while captain Amritpal Singh had a late dunk for good measure to make it appear as if the win was never in doubt.