Thursday – January 23rd, 2014
India  82  48 Guinea Bissau
India win.

 

FINAL
India  19  46  67  82  82
Guinea Bissau  9  18  30  48  48

Play by Play

18.38

Qualifying matches*
(*note that all four teams below have already qualified to Level 1 and these matches are being held for the sole purpose of granting the two winning teams the right to choose their pre-quarter final opponent from level 1)

Gopalakrishnan R

18.38

Girls: Kerala 60 (Nivya Raj 20, Anusha 19) bt Maharashtra 53 (Shruti 21, Neha 12) [21-11, 13-17, 13-11, 13-14]

Gopalakrishnan R

 

Stat Sheet

 

Match Summary

Team India. Photo courtesy: Basketball Federation of India

The Indian men’s team has begun its 2014 Lusofonia campaign on a winning note, comfortably brushing aside the challenge posed by relative minnows Guinea Bissou. All 12 Indian players took to the floor, with nine of them getting onto the scoreboard. India led for most of the match mainly due to its highly effective 2-3 zone defense. Guinea could score only 14 points in the restricted area. India’s size advantage also meant that it dominated the paint, scoring 34 easy points. Guards Narender Grewal and Pratham Singh top scored for India with 14 points each. Forwards Yadwinder Singh and Riken Pethani had identical all-round performances with 9 rebounds and 7 points each.

India, ranked 61st in the world, will now play against powerhouse Angola (ranked 15th) on Saturday, 25th January at 6:00 pm.

HIGHLIGHT PLAYS

Blockathon! Defensive mastermind Yadwinder Singh and Amjyot Singh made it to our highlight reel tonight with their two thunderous blocks. Yadwinder showed great agility in rejecting a Guinea Bissou player at the three point line, which in turn led to a 24 second shot clock violation on Guinea Bissou’s part. Amjyot’s block was in transition, where he timed his jump perfectly to deny what looked like a near certain fast break opportunity for Guinea Bissou.

MOMENTUM SHIFTS

Barring the first five minutes of the match, it was all India’s way in this opening encounter against a team which is not even listed in the top 85 teams in the FIBA World rankings. India took the lead after trading a few baskets early on and kept building on it in each quarter.

HE SAID SHE SAID- I

“I think our 2-3 zone worked perfectly today and we managed to keep them out of the paint. I also thought that we hurt them in transition. We are a team that likes to run.”

–       India’s Head Coach Scott Flemming, on the main reasons for the win.

“It’s fine. I think Goa deserves it. Goa is hosting this tournament. These are two great guys who fit in with us well. They haven’t worked out with us much but have been good for our team.”

–       Coach Flemming, on why he played all 12 players on the team, especially the two local Goan players

“In the morning, in our pregame strategies we had anticipated that we’ll be playing against a quick team, but when the match started we realized that they seemed to prefer driving in. So we focused on our defense so that we limit their points in the paint.”

–       India Captain Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, on his team’s main focus going into this game

HE SAID SHE SAID- II

On India’s next match against powerhouse Angola

“We are playing one of the best teams in the world. Angola is ranked 15th in the world so we just wanted to get this first win. Tomorrow is a rest day, so we’ll watch Angola play and try our very best to beat them. Our goal is to get the gold medal. We have to beat some very good teams to do it. Whether that happens on not, we’ll see.”

–       Coach Flemming

“We will give it our best, more so since we are playing at home. I don’t know about their line up yet. We’ll see tomorrow.”

–       Vishesh

THUMBS UP

India’s substitutions & ball movement: Barring Sambhaji Kadam and Daley Fernandes, all other Indian players (all 10 of them in fact!) got onto the score board. Coach Scott Flemming’s revolving door substitution strategy meant that except for Sambhaji Kadam and the two local Goan players, every Indian player was on the floor for at least 10 mins or more. This is a great sign as the Indian bench is now tested and warmed up for the formidable challenge of playing against Angola, ranked 15th in the world.

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS

Spotted! The Indian women’s team led by Head Coach Francisco Garcia and Assistant Coach Divya Singh. Undoubtedly, they were keen on sizing up the Macau China team that they will play against tomorrow. They must be pleased by what they saw, considering that Macau China fell tamely to African side Mozambique.

Also Spotted! Railways’ veteran coach and one of Indian women basketball’s legends, the Dhyan Chand Awardee Aparna Ghosh! She was seen watching the match with great interest from high up in the stands.

 

Gopalakrishnan R
Leave a replyComments (0)
  1. Mark 3 years ago

    I would rate India and Guinea-Bissau as almost equal – the FIBA rankings are rubbish. My own rankings from 2011 had India at 122 and Guinea-Bissau at 125. Also, this is not the full India national team, as 25% of players must be from Goa. So, India are not heavy favourites.

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  2. Profile photo of Gopalakrishnan R
    Gopalakrishnan R 3 years ago

    Hi Mark! Thanks for your comment. You are correct in pointing out that 25% of India’s players must be from Goa, but India anyway seems to be relying on its regular line up of stars to get the job done. As regards India and Guinea Bissau being almost equal, I guess the scores can speak for itself!

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  3. joe 3 years ago

    @Mark. This is the indian national team, but these aren’t the national teams from other countries. Guinea didnt send their national team.

    Angola is sending their u-23 team, Portugal and Brazil also wouldn’t of sent national team players to this tournament, instead they pulled all their athletes due to health concerns from being in India.

    http://portuguese-american-journal.com/sports-portugal-withdrawing-athletes-from-the-lusofonia-games-2014-goa-india/

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  4. Mark 3 years ago

    Thanks. Angola is sending a young team, yes. But they are using it as preparation for the future senior team.

    Guinea-Bissau – their national team is not that great and doesn’t have many stars – I am surprised they didn’t send the national team.

    Under normal circumstances, Guinea-Bissau would be able to compete with India – so I don’t think the scores really speak for themselves when you consider that India has its full team while the other teams have B teams.

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  5. Joe 3 years ago

    @Mark

    There wont be any Angolan national team players on the roster for this tournament in Goa.

    Angola team is high school and college players to attend, not national team players.

    Indian media wants to make their team look better so writers like Ekalayva posts give incorrect info.

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