Gopal: Presentation Ceremony has just concluded. A detailed match report will be put up later tonight. Good night and take care. Thank you for your support! It was a pleasure covering this tournament for you.

Hoopistani: Gopal: please share the leading scorers if you can! Let me know if there are any photographs from the Final available too!

Gopal: Final Score 64-46. India win! Thank you all for joining us for the live commentary. We will return to you in a short while with the prize distribution ceremony.

Gopal: On the next possession, the ball bounces off his back as he doesnt anticipate the pass. This is a learning experience for the youngster.

Gopal: TEAR DROP! A tough shot by Afghanistan over the hands of the rising Amjyot. Still a huge India lead. Score 58-37, as Yadwinder is called for the offensive foul.

Gopal: Afghanistan are in trouble here. They are already in team foul penalty. Vishesh is fouled on the drive and sent to the line.

Gopal: India lead 58-35 with less than 4 mins in the game.

Gopal: Amjyot Singh knocks down both free throws. On the next possession, India scores an easy fast break through Vishesh!

Gopal: WHAT A PASS!! The veteran point guard Kadam is controlling the tempo beautifully here. He milks the shot clock dry and does a no look pass to Amjyot Singh, who is fouled yet again.

Gopal: India are coasting here. Lead has ballooned to 23 with 5:30 remaining.

Gopal: AND 1!!! Ball is passed to Amjyot Singh who swishes the shot as he is fouled. He makes the free throw and does his customary 1 finger raise in the air. This has gotta be the nail in the coffin for Afghanistan!

Gopal: The veteran India players are slowing the game down, and milking the shot clock.

Gopal: India has chosen experience here to finish off this game and carry India home.

Gopal: India opting for a line up of Sambhaji Kadam, Vishesh, Joginder, Yadwinder and Amjyot.

Gopal: 52-31, India lead with 7 mins left in the game.

Gopal: BANG!! Yadwinder Singh knocks down a three pointer, after receiving a pass from veteran Sambhaji Kadam

Gopal: Amjyot sinks the first threethrow and raises a finger up in the air. He misses the second FT, but Vishesh rebounds the miss.

Gopal: STRONG PLAY! Amjyot bludgeons his way to the basket and is sent to the line.

Gopal: Vishesh is being very aggressive here in the final quarter. It’s great to see. The final quarter is when the clutch performers take over!

Gopal: FOUL! Vishesh is fouled and sent to the line. He makes both freethrows!

Gopal: India’s Vishesh grabs the offensive rebound and aggressively drives to the basket.

Gopal: India enjoy a huge 16 point lead going into the final quarter. Amjyot grabs another defensive rebound and passes ahead to Vinay. Vinay launches a three, but misses.

Gopal: Amritpal is substituted again! Its like a revolving door as far as Amritpal’s playing time is concerned. Coach Flemming, not playing him for more than 4 mins at a stretch.

Gopal: We move to the last quarter now. AND 1! Left handed shot in the post by Afghanistan as Amritpal is called for the foul. Afghanistan miss the free throw though.


Gopal: Less than 4 seconds left in the third quarter here. Philip gets a steal and kicks it out to Rikin at the top of the key. Rikin launches the three pointer as the buzzer sounds….MISS!

Gopal: Afghanistan’s player blows by India’s Philip for the easy layup. But Philip makes amends by drawing the foul on the other end. He misses the first free throw and makes the second

Gopal: Afghanistan supporters are heard shouting “LOSER LOSER”. Not sure which team they are referring to here. India had a sizeable lead, 46-27 with less than a minute left to close out the quarter.

Gopal: On the next play, India moves the ball on both sides of the floor, but are unable to convert.

Gopal: Left hand shooter Rikin Pethani misses back to back attempts from under the basket. Tough shots over the defender, but he should be able to convert them nonetheless.

Hoopistani: India doing a great job going to there big men inside it seems – Amjyot and Amrit Pal. Both are youngsters too. Both I think under 22

Gopal: Afghanistan have changed gears now, and are now employing the full court press. India manage to bring the ball up through guard Joginder.

Gopal: MONEY FROM DOWNTOWN! India score another three, right at the shot clock expiring. This is courtesy Delhi boy Vinay Kaushik. Scores 46-25 India lead, with 2 mins left in Q3.

Gopal: TRADING BUCKETS! Joginder Singh knocks down his third three pointer of the match, this time from the right hand side. On the other end, Afghanistan answer with a three of their own.

Gopal: Amritpal is again substituted and replaced by Rikin Pethani, the 6ft 8 inch forward from Gujarat.

Gopal: Scores now 40-20 in favour of India with 3:50 left in the third quarter. Afghanistan need to mount a comeback now, if they want to win this game.

Gopal: Amjyot scores again! This time after rebounding his own miss in transition. This boy is playing with a very mature head.

Gopal: India come out of the huddle with a shout of REBOUND! That’s right, they sure need to rebound better here in the second half. Amjyot obliges with a huge defensive rebound.

Gopal: Time out called by India with 4:41 left in the third quarter. India lead by 18 points (38-20).

Gopal: Amritpal pumps his fist after the dunk, in the face of the Afghan playing guarding him. Things getting slightly chippy here.

Gopal: SLAM DUNK!! Amritpal slams it home after a beautiful dish from power forward Amjyot Singh. The two Punjab players are working in unison here. Good to see such passing in the post!

Gopal: India playing Joginder, Narender and Vishesh on the backcourt and Amjyot and Amritpal in the post.

Gopal: HUGE BLOCK by Afghanistan on Amritpal Singh. Coach Flemming gesticulates at the referee to call a foul.

Gopal: VISHESH SCORES! A pump fake at the three point line, followed by an effortless drive in and a lefty lay up. India 36, Afghanistan 18. 6:20 left in the third quarter.

Gopal: 34-18, India lead in the third quarter. India is having some trouble securing the defensive boards here. Multiple second chance opportunities for Afghanistan.

Gopal: Foul called on centre Amritpal, who laughs at the call.

Gopal: Afghan player does a series of pump fakes and jab steps and drives to the basket. Afghanistan cant convert though.

Gopal: Vishesh Bhriguvanshi unable to score from three point range. He is having a bad shooting night today.

Gopal: Afghanistan with the ball, they look for an opening, but no good. Amritpal rebounds. India now go on the offensive


Gopal: We are live from Tyagaraj Stadium, New Delhi, as we wait for second half action to begin in two mins.

Gopal: @aditi- Not an absurd question at all. The Indian side is being captained by the Varanasi boy Vishesh Bhriguvanshi.

Gopal: We will return with live second half action in a few mins.


Gopal: Vishesh’s shot at the buzzer is blocked from behind by Afghanistan.

Gopal: The Afghanistan crowd has quietened down now. India in control as they move the ball along the perimeter.

Gopal: India’s score now double that of Afghanistan. 34-17, with less than a minute left in Q2

Gopal: India unable to secure the defensive rebound, but Amjyot blocks Afghanistan’s shot attempt. Afghanistan immediately pay for their sins, as Vishesh explodes in transition, and passes to Rikin Pethani for the easy lay up.

Gopal: Amritpal scores again! India 32, Afghanistan 17 with 1 minute left in Q2.

Gopal: Less than 2 mins left for half time. Afghanistan unable to score. On the other end, India moves the ball patiently until they are able to pass it inside to Amritpal.

Gopal: India 30, Afghanistan 17, as time out is called by Afghanistan

Gopal: WHAT A PASS! Vishesh from the left hand three point line does a no look lob pass inside to Amritpal, who knocks down the close range hook shot!

Gopal: The young Amjyot is having a solid game here.

Gopal: Vishesh misses a wide open jumper. On the next possession Amjyot Singh gets a steal and a layup.

Gopal: India’s freethrow shooting has been below par in this first half. The lead could have been well over 15 points by now, had they converted.

Gopal: Vishesh drives in and drops the ball off to the following Yadwinder, who is fouled on his drive and sent to the line. Yadwinder misses both freethrows.

Gopal: Afghanistan are staying in striking distance here. India’s lead now down to 8 points.

Gopal: Afghanistan DUNK! Indian defense caught napping.

Gopal: Afghan supporters continue to make all kinds of sounds. You have to hand it to their support.

Gopal: Goal tending call on India, as Amjyot blocks the shot on its downward arc after it has hit the board. Afghanistan 15, India 25, halfway through the second quarter.

Gopal: India’s centre Amritpal gestures to Coach Scott saying he is tired. He is substituted by the other Punjab Centre Amjyot Singh.

Gopal: GOOD SHOT! Yadwinder Singh notices the defense slagging on him and knocks down the wide open corner two.

Gopal: Vishesh misses his fadeaway jumper from the left side. On the other end, Afghanistan convert. Score 23-13, India is ahead with 5:40 left in the second quarter

Gopal: SLAMMMM DUNKK! What a play by India. They pass it in to Amrit Pal, who launches himself for the sledgehammer slam dunk.

Gopal: Still though a 10 point India lead as refs call Afghanistan for goal tending.

Gopal: Vinay misses both free throws! It’s as if the match is being played in Afghanistan, the way the Afghan supporters are cheering!

Gopal: India’s Vinay fouled again and is sent to the line. The Afghan supporters boo his shot attempts.

Gopal: India still up 19-11 with 8:30 left in Q2.

Gopal: Afghanistan scores again! Defensive lapse by India as two Afghanistan players find themselves free under the basket.

Gopal: Amrit pal gets the inbound pass, he passes the ball to Sambhaji Kadam. Kadam passes to Narender on the right corner, who turns the ball over. Sloppy play by India!

Gopal: Narender misses an easy open layup, but Afghanistan fumble the ball out of bounds.


Gopal: Correction. The score is 19-9, India’s lead with 75% of the game left.

Gopal: FIRST QUARTER HAS ENDED! Afghanistan tries a heave from three quarters of the court, but to no avail. India lead 18-9 at the end of the first quarter.

Gopal: Delhi’s Vinay Kaushik is fouled and makes both free throws.

Hoopistani: what’s the score?

Gopal: Afghanistan score again! A long three from the top of the key. Coach Flemming is furious!

Gopal: India need to calm down here on the offensive end. They should make more plays through our 7ft centre Amrit Pal. We seem slightly rushed at the moment.

Gopal: Afghanistan unable to score. On the other end, Amrit pal backs down the defender but misses the hook shot.

Gopal: India Coach Scott shouts for defensive closeouts. Afghanistan unable to score, but ball bounces off Sambaji Kadam. Afghanistan ball.

Gopal: AND 1!!! India goes on the break..lob pass by Joginder to Vishesh, who gets a left hand layup on the foul. He misses the free throw. But Amrit pal gets the offensive putback!

Gopal: Joginder steal! but instead of going for the break he dribbles the ball out to the corner and fires another three. No good!

Gopal: THREE POINTER! Joginder again scores from downtown. Exact same spot as his previous three pointer- the right hand 45.

Gopal: Vishesh explodes in transition, but is unable to convert. Yadwinder Singh is back in the game now in place of Rikin Pethani

Gopal: Ok, we are out of the time out. India guilty of some laziness on the offensive end. 24 second shot clock violation and Afghanistan gets the ball.

Gopal: Question from Aditi. Who’s gonna perform better in this game? From initial signs, it looks like the young centre Amjyot is making an immediate impact

Gopal: The Afghanistan supporters are very vocal. The much larger Indian crowd are very quiet for some reason. Time Out India with 3:45 left in the first quarter.

Gopal: GET THAT OUTTA HERE!! Mammoth block by Amjyot, but Afghanistan get the rebound and convert the two pointer. Afghanistan score again on the next possession. Scores now 10-6 India lead.

Gopal: Amjyot Singh fouled on his up and under move. He makes the first and misses the second. Afghanistan grab the rebound and run out in transition.

Gopal: HEAT CHECK! Vishesh fires one from the corner and misses. This was his first attempt of the game.

Gopal: Coach Scott Flemming makes two quick substitutions. Delhi guard Vinay Kaushik is in and so is forward Rikin Pethani. Centre Amrit Pal is on the bench now.

Gopal: India try to convert through Narender, but his one handed shot bounces off the back of the rim.

Gopal: Afghanistan try to get the ball inbounds but deflected by Vishesh. Their second inbounding attempt is successful, but Vishesh gets another steal!

Gopal: Yadwinder substituted. Replaced by the young Amjyot Singh

Gopal: Afghanistan finally score with a top of the key jumper. India lead 7 to 2 with 6:37 left in Q1.

Gopal: SWISH! Yadwinder knocks down a deep two from the right side. Acknowledges the cheers of the crowd with a exaggerated follow through.

Gopal: India have started with Vishesh, Joginder and Narender in the backcourt. Yadwinder is playing at Power Forward and Amrit pal is the 7ft centre

Gopal: Narender Grewal pushes the ball up, passes to Vishesh who drives in but to no avail. Afghanistan ball.

Gopal: BANG!!!!! India knock down a three from the right hand elbow courtesy point guard Joginder Singh. India lead 5 to nothing.

Gopal: India 2, Afghanistan 0.

Gopal: India off with a BANG! A quick shot under the basket followed by a HUGE block by India centre Amritpal Singh.

Gopal: India have won the opening tip after Afghanistan push the ball out of bounds.

Gopal: Starting five from both sides have lined up for the opening tip.

Gopal: Indian players get out of their huddle with a huge shout of INDIAAA! this brings a raucous cheer from the crowd. Afghanistan respond with their own victory chant.

Gopal: Enough with the niceties now, and its back to the warmups. Adrenaline flowing all around now, as the players from both sides line up for their final huddle before tip off.

Gopal: The Indian badge is a cute looking elephant keychain. Afghanistan prefer a national coat of arms in a little circular pendant

Gopal: Both teams lining up at the centre of the court and introducing themselves to each other. The teams exchange badges as a mark of respect for the opponents.

Gopal: We can already see sizeable crowds in the wonderful stands. Majority of course are India supporters. But there is also a very vociferous section of supporters from Afghanistan.

Gopal: This game is being held at the Thyagaraj Stadium in New Delhi.

Gopal: The Indian players are locked in a tense huddle at the far end of the court. They come out of the all player huddle looking relaxed and raring to go…supposed contrary emotions..but isnt that what sports is about?

Gopal: Afghanistan players warming up with layups. Indian players are working on their outside shots. India’s star guard Vishesh Bhriguvanshi is knocking down all his practice jumpers..This has gotta be a good sign for India. They will need him to fire in this game.

Gopal: The Indian men are sporting Navy blue in this match. Afghanistan has turned up in all white jerseys.

Gopal: Huge crowds are piling in here at the Tyagaraj Indoor stadium, New Delhi, the venue of the 2013 SABA qualifiers.

Gopal: Everything is at stake here for both these teams. India and Afghanistan have a rivalry that dates back many years. Two notable games in the recent past have involved Afghanistan besting India by 1 point. India immediately won the next encounter by a solitary point themselves.

Gopal: This is the final game of the SABA qualifiers. India take on Afghanistan, and the winner of this game will qualify for the coveted FIBA Asia Championships to be held in Manila, Philipines in August.

Gopal: Thanks Zeddy..Yes we are live here at the Thyagaraj Stadium in New Delhi

Zeddy: Hello and welcome to the the Live Commentary for the third and final game of the SABA Qualifiers between India and Afghanistan!

Republished with permission from The original post can be found here
Gopalakrishnan R
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