Gopal: That’s it from our commentary today folks! We will return tomorrow live with our commentary for the much awaited final match up between India and Afghanistan @ 6:00PM.

Gopal: Afghanistan have won Game Two of these SABA Qualifiers 78-20. Nepal are now out of the tournament.

Gopal: Another Nepal air ball from three point line. Let’s end this misery already. The clock winds down. Three..Two..One…We have our winners. Afghanistan take this game easily, winning 78-20.

Gopal: Another open fast break miss by Nepal. They really seem to have disintegrated here. Nepal will head back home with a lot on their minds.

Gopal: Afghanistan’s Shikaeb Rahi is substituted from the game. I doubt, if his services will be needed now. Barely 2 mins left in the game. Afghanistan have an unassaible 76-18 lead.

Gopal: Afghan player gets an air ball as he spots up from the three point line off the dribble. Another Afghan teammate collects the air ball under the basket and lays it in. Where is Nepal’s boxing out?

Gopal: Afghanistan are styling right now. A wonderfull cross court pass to Qais who immediately explodes towards the basket for a layup.

Gopal: Time out called by Nepal. It’s a 71-18 Afghanistan lead with 4:36 left in the fourth quarter. Afghan players have started high fiving each other on the bench.

Gopal: Afghanistan scores again through no. 6 Qais Haider. A beautiful shot off the glass. Very Tim Duncanish.

Gopal: FEAR FACTOR! A Nepali guard who’s barely 5ft 6 inches finds himself with the ball in front of a foot taller Afghan player. He is too scared to shoot even after multiple pump fakes which have no effect on the opposition defender

Gopal: Afghanistan’s Masseh Tahiry scores an acrobatic layup cutting across the basket. On the other end, Nepal called for travelling. Nepal has six minutes of agony left before this game ends.

Gopal: Bhangra music has started playing at the Tyagaraj Stadium. Afghanistan makes full use of this background score to convert both of its freethrows.

Gopal: AIRBALL! Nepal misses a wide open two pointer by a mile. I take back my previous statement. This is a new low for Nepal

Gopal: We are a minute and a half into Q4. Afghanistan lead 62-18.

Gopal: OOOOH! Two Afghanistan players find themselves open in transition. But an ambitious sledgehammer dunk bounces off the back of the rim. On the other end, Nepal scores on a tough up and under move.

Gopal: Another turnover by Nepal. Afghanistan unable to score. Third quarter ends. Score 60-16 Afghanistan lead.

Gopal: Afghanistan following India’s strategy. Constant substitutions being seen in this game.

Gopal: Nepal is now in desperation. They play only 4 people on defense and leave a player on the offensive end for easy fast break opportunities. However, the so called fast break specialist missing the open layup! This has got to be the nadir for Nepal

Gopal: Finally Nepal Score, a two point jumper from just outside the paint. Scores 59-16 Nepal trail. Just a minute left in the third quarter.

Gopal: Nepal need to be able to generate some offense from somebody. Afghanistan on the other hand seem to have plenty of options

Gopal: Another foul! Afghanistan is again sent to the line. Scores now 55-14, Afghanistan lead.

Gopal: Nepal really has nothing going for them here…hard foul in frustration on an Afghan player driving to the basket

Gopal: I dont remember the last time Nepal scored. It’s Afghanistan all the way in the second half. Score 49-14, Afghanistan lead

Gopal: AND 1!! Tough baseline drive by Afghanistan. Hoop and harm. He can’t make the solitary free throw though.

Gopal: Nepal seems to have given up completely. They are simply going through the motions. The game has opened up on both ends of the floor, no set plays to speak of.

Gopal: Unparliamentary language being exchanged between the Afghanistan Coach and his player as he is sent to the bench. Unfortunately, these abuses are in English. Those who want the details, can message me later, as this is not worthy for print!

Gopal: GREAT HOPS! a diminutive Afghan player find himself near the free throw line, but launches himself towards the basket for the lay up. what an athletic move!

Gopal: FIRST DUNK OF THE GAME! Finally, Afghanistan finds themselves in a 2 on 1 situation in transition. The two handed slam dunk is welcomed by the crowds. Afghan supporters wave the black, red and green flag in appreciation.

Gopal: SECOND HALF. Nepal start proceedings in the third quarter by turning the ball over. They need to amp it up here and make a comeback.

Gopal: We will return to you in a few minutes with live second half action.

Gopal: HALF TIME BUZZER! Afghanistan 36, Nepal 11

Gopal: The Afghan players are showing a burst of energy to close out the half. They knock down a three from the right 45 and immediately get a steal and a layup.

Gopal: FLASH OF BRILLIANCE! The Afghan bench has woken up suddenly here! They are completely distracting the Nepal players on their offensive runs.

Gopal: Nepal having trouble with their defensive rebounding for the second game running. Afghanistan score with an offensive putback. 30-11 Afghanistan are up.

Gopal: Aggressive drive by Afghanistan to the basket. Two points for them. Nepal staring at a 17 point deficit late in this second quarter. Time out Nepal.

Gopal: One of the interesting asides about this match are the languages spoken by both teams. Afghanistan prefer their Pashto/Farsi/English combination, while Nepal are sticking loyally to their Nepali.

Gopal: CRUEL LUCK! Afghan player drives towards the centre of the basket and puts up the runner..ball rolls around the ring four times before dropping out

Gopal: Neither team has been able to score in the last few minutes. Scores remain stuck at 24-11 in favour of Afghanistan.

Gopal: The Thyagaraj Indoor Stadium has been the venue of numerous prior international level tournaments. In April 2013, it hosted the inaugural 3 on 3 National Championships

Gopal: Both teams seem to be slipping and sliding on court, or fumbling the ball. Clumsy play this to start the second quarter.

Gopal: Back to on court action. We are three minutes into the second quarter. Afghan lead 24-11

Gopal: Eclectic crowds we have here at the Thyagaraj Stadium today. Apart from the Indian men’s team, there are a smattering of supporters from Afghanistan, a few basketball enthusiasts from Africa and curious bunch of children

Gopal: Nepal has struggled with lack of size in the first game against India. This game is no different. They are much smaller in all three front court positions.

Gopal: Afghanistan run the clock down as they move the ball along the perimeter. Corner three attempt is no good. FIRST QUARTER ENDS. SCORE 20-11 Afghanistan lead.

Gopal: The game is slowly and steadily breaking open in Afghanistan’s direction. This is still a much more even contest than yesterday, when Nepal was manhandled by India in a 109-26 loss.

Gopal: Both teams settling for jumpers here in the first quarter. Afghan finally get a steal and an easy layup. They immediately follow that up with another steal! Can’t convert the fast break though as the Afghan player is fouled on the way to the basket.

Gopal: Afghanistan are being coached by Mohammed Wamiq Rafiq, a suave man who has turned up in the traditional attire of Coaches..SUITED UP!

Gopal: Nepal employing a series of screens to get away from the Afghan defense. They are definitely getting open looks, but are unable to convert.

Gopal: Nepal looks very comfortable against this sedate Afghanistan defense. They knock down a three from the right corner. Still a sizeable Afghan lead, 15-7.

Gopal: CAUGHT NAPPING! Nepal player finds himself free under the basket as Afghanistan’s defense completely breaks down. Afghan Coach is furious. His time out seems to be of no use.

Gopal: For those just tuning in, these are the SABA qualifiers to the FIBA Asia Tournament to be held in August 2013.

Gopal: Both teams taking it slow in this first quarter. Afghan lead 11-2 with 3:46 remaining in the first quarter. Time Out Afghanistan.

Gopal: Afghan’s bulky number 7 belies his overweight physique here and does a nifty euro step on his transition layup. He misses though!

Gopal: Afghan bench tapping their feet and clapping their hands in unison shouting “DEFENSE, DEFENSE.” This works, as Nepal is called for the offensive foul.

Gopal: The entire Indian team is in attendance here, all the players, coaches and support staff. India will be following the outcome of this game very closely. Afghanistan poses India’s only threat in these qualifiers.

Gopal: SWISH!!! Afghanistan score from the top of the key. Afghans lead 5-2 with 6:40 left in the first quarter.

Gopal: Tough fallaway Nepal jumper no good. But Nepal win the offensive rebound and get another 24 seconds of possession.

Gopal: Both teams playing a man to man game here. This match has a markedly slower pace than the India-Nepal game yesterday.

Gopal: Nepal score the opening basket. A nice looking jumper from the right elbow.

Gopal: Afghanistan win the opening tip but cant convert. On the other end, Nepal too comes to naught.

Gopal: Afghanistan is India’s only threat in these SABA qualifiers. The Afghanistan starting five are now on the Court. Both teams sporting jerseys without player names on the back. I guess its the name on the front that really matters!

Gopal: We are moments away from tip off. Afghanistan is wearing black and Nepal has turned up in white. Black v. White, a classic battle just a few minutes from the opening tip.

Gopal: Hello folks! We are now live with our commentary for Game 2 of these SABA qualifiers. Nepal v. Afghanistan

Zeddy: The game will tip off at 6 PM IST.

Zeddy: Hello and welcome to the 2nd game of the SABA Qualifiers between Afghanistan and Nepal at Thyagaraj Indoor Stadium, New Delhi.

Republished with permission from The original post can be found here

Gopalakrishnan R
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