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FIBA U16 Asia: India overpowered by Australia 50-114 in opener
India's offense was repeatedly 'trapped' by Australia, while on the other end, was unable to match up to Aussies' strength and size.
In an expected result, India offered no challenge to defending champions Australia, going down tamely 50-114, in the opening game of the FIBA U16 Asian Championship for boys.
The Championship is underway at the Al-Gharafa Indoor Stadium in Doha, Qatar.
Last year’s fifth-place-finishing India appeared to be a shadow of itself in this edition, meekly surrendering to the title favourites.
Australia began by scoring at ease from all 4 levels: whether in transition, in the paint, from outside or via free throws.
On the other hand, the skinny and under-strength Indian boys were forced to settle for contested threes, with Australia’s full-court and half court-pressure putting India in all sorts of trouble.
After a point, it appeared as if it was shooting practice for Australia, which was able to repeatedly collapse the Indian defense and kick the ball out for wide open jumpshots.
At the end of the first quarter, Australia led 33-14.
The second quarter saw India Coach Ram Kumar making an adjustment, by going smaller - introducing a second guard Mirthun Vel Dhanasekar into the line up. While Dhanasekar helped take the pressure off captain point-guard Lavish, it led to a further weakening of India’s already disadvantaged front-court.
As a result, Australia further capitalized on the glass, enjoying a whopping 61-25 rebounding advantage.
Australia’s spacing and ball movement against India’s zone defense was a sight to behold. But India’s miseries were often self-inflicted, with numerous unforced turnovers leading to easy fast-break opportunities for the Aussies.
By the end of the third quarter, Australia enjoyed an insurmountable 91-43 lead, and had the luxury of bringing in its bench players. India, on the other hand, brought back couple of its starters - Lavish and Tajinderbir Singh - perhaps in the hopes of getting them into a scoring rhythm going into its remaining two group phase games.
India (Jins Kalayil Joby 10 pts, Lokesh Kumar Sharma 9 pts, Ankush 8 pts) lose to Australia (Indy Cotton 16 pts, Henry Sewell 14 pts, Nash Walker 13 pts) 50-114 [14-33, 10-36, 10-22, 16-23]