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FIBA Asia Championship: India Loses to Japan; Still Qualifies for Second Round
PG Akilan Pari surveys the court against Japan. Image credit: FIBA Asia
BENGALURU/CHANGSHA, 25 September 2015: India continues to show that they have the talent to compete with the top teams of Asia, fighting Japan hard to a 83-65 loss. Both teams came into the game with a 1-1 record, with a victory over Malaysia and a loss to defending champions Iran.
India started off the game hot, with Captain Vishesh Bhriguvanshi and Vinay Kaushik, hitting 3 three’s between the two of them. The open space was due to the added attention that big men Amritpal Singh and Amjyot Singh were given by the Japanese defence. With the outside shooting and tough defence, India was able to take an 11 point lead at one point in the first quarter, but Japan responded with excellent offensive execution and cut the lead to 18-15 in favour of India at the end of the 1st Quarter.
For the rest of the first half, the perimeter players of India held strong, keeping the team in the game as Amjyot and Amritpal Singh struggled to find their rhythm.
With fatigue starting to play its part, the Indian defensive intensity wasn’t there and Japan won each of the final three quarters to take the victory. Four Indian players played over 35 minutes each, which was the 3rd game in 3 days for the Indian side.
There are some building blocks for Team India as they continue to the second round, as they outshot a usually deathly 3-point shooting team in Japan, 40% to 29%, and kept the rebounding margin relatively the same (43 to 45 in favour of Japan).
India’s Big 3
Indian Bench erupts after a play against Japan. Image credit: FIBA Asia
India can stake claim to having some of the top firepower in Asia, as India’s big 3 had their best game as a group. Vishesh Bhriguvanshi continues his hot shooting and overall playmaking/leadership this tournament as he finished with 24 points (6 for 10 on 3 pointers), 8 rebounds and 5 assists, while big men Amjyot Singh and Amritpal Singh both finished with double-doubles with 19 points/10 rebounds and 12 points/10 rebounds, respectively.
With the extra attention Japan focused on the Indian big men, Vishesh was able to find his shooting touch early, leading to open driving lanes later in the game for himself and his teammates. Amjyot and Amritpal had a tough first half, but kept India in the game during the 3rd quarter with their physical play inside.
India has qualified for the Second Round of the 28th FIBA Asia Championship which starts on 27th September 2015, as the 26th September is a rest day for all the teams. The opponent for the first match of Round 2 is not set yet, as India will play the top team in Pool B, which will likely be Palestine, who had the upset of the tournament so far with a victory over Philippines.
Speaking about the next match, Captain Vishesh Bhiguvanshi stated, “You can clearly see there is talent here and that we are playing like a team. We will continue to push forward and play hard in the next round, regardless of the obstacles or the opponent.”
India (Vishesh Bhriguvanshi 24 pts, 8 rbs, 5 asts, Amjyot Singh 19 pts & 10 rbs, Amritpal Singh 12 pts & 10 rbs) lost to Japan (J. Takeuchi 22 pts & 19 rbs, M. Hiejima 19 pts & 6 asts, and T. Furukawa 15 pts) 65-83 (18-15, 14-24, 20-24, 13-20)
India’s upcoming matches at the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship*
26th September will be a rest day
Round Two will be held between 27th and 29th September (Indian opponent to be determined)
Knockouts: Quarterfinals, semis and finals will be played on 1st, 2nd and 3rd October respectively.
*See below for tournament groupings, format, history, and India’s past participation.
How to follow the games
The Championship is being held at two venues in Changsha, China. The primary venue is the Gymnasium of Changsha Social Work College, while the secondary venue is the Gymnasium of Central South University of Forestry and Technology.
Matches are being aired on NEO SPORTS. Live streaming of the game is also available on a paid subscription basis here: http://www.livebasketball.tv/home. Live play by play updates are also available on FIBA’s official website: http://www.fiba.com/asia/2015.
INDIAN SQUAD FOR THE 28TH FIBA ASIA MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP 2015
Jersey No Name Date of Birth (dd/mm/yyyy) Place of Birth (City & State) Height (cm) Weight
Position 03 Vinay Kaushik 30/08/1991 Lakhan Majra Haryana 189 88 F 04 Rajesh Prakash Uppar 20/01/1991 Dharwad Karnataka 172 67 PG 07 Siddhant Sanjay Shinde 15/06/1991 Pune Maharashtra 180 75 G 09 Vishesh Bhriguvanshi 13/09/1991 Varanasi Uttar Pradesh 193 95 G/F 10 Amritpal Singh 05/01/1991 Ganna Pind Punjab 207 110 C 13 Vikas Kumar 13/11/1988 Dablain Haryana 183 80 F 14 Yadwinder Singh 30/12/1986 Rasulpur Khurd Haryana 196 90 F 15 Arvind Arumugam 28/01/1991 Mandya Karnataka 197 94 PF 22 Amjyot Singh 27/01/1992 Chandigarh Punjab/ Haryana 203 104 F 66 Akilan Pari 20/07/1989 Chennai Tamil Nadu 180 70 PG 69 Akashdeep Hazra 01/07/1996 Baroda Gujarat 213 98 C 96 Gurvinder Singh Gill 21/01/1996 Chandigarh Punjab/ Haryana 200 90 PF
*PG - Point Guard / Feeder, G - Guard, F - Forward, G/F - Wing, PF - Power Forward, C - Centre, PF/C - Pivot
13) Team Manager: Mr Goutam Ganguly (West Bengal)
14) Head Coach: Mr Sat Prakash (Rajasthan)
15) Assistant Coach: Mr Sebastian Padipurakkal Joseph (Kerala)
16) Team Physio: Dr Nikhil Nellikka Puthiyandi (Karnataka)
17) Mr Atanu Banerjee (West Bengal)
18) Mr Ceceline Michael Vino (Tamil Nadu)
19) Snehal Bendke (Maharashtra)
About the 28th FIBA Asia Men’s Championship 2015
Preliminary Round Groups
Group A: Iran, India, Malaysia and Japan
Group B: Hong Kong, Palestine, Philippines and Kuwait
Group C: China, Korea, Jordan and Singapore
Group D: Chinese Taipei, Lebanon, Qatar and Kazakhstan
This will be the 28th edition of the Asian Men’s Basketball Championship. 16 teams are expected participate in this championship and are divided into four groups (A, B, C and D) of four teams each. League matches are conducted within each group and the top three teams from each group proceed to the second round. The second round will comprise 12 teams in total split into two groups (E and F) of six teams each. The three top teams from groups A and B after the first round will be placed in Group E in the second round, while groups C and D’s top three teams will be placed in Group F.
In the second round, the top four teams each from Group C and D progress to the quarterfinals, followed by the semi-finals and finals. The 2015 FIBA Asia Championship is a qualifier for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The winner qualifies automatically for 2016 Men's Olympic Basketball Tournament. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th place teams earn spots for 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT).
Tournament history & India’s participation
Prior to the upcoming iteration, 27 editions of this biennial championship have been held so far, dating back to 1960. Philippines won the inaugural edition. China leads the medal’s tally with 15 golds, followed by Philippines (5 golds) and Iran (3 golds) India first participated at this event in 1965, and has competed 24 times in total. The Indian men’s team best finish came in 1975, when we finished 4th. India has also secured 5th place at the 1969, 1979 and 1981 iterations.
At the last edition in 2013, Iran, Philippines and Korea were the top three sides, while India finished 11th.