Sunday – January 26th, 2014
India 67 52 Cape Verde
FINAL. INDIA WIN!

 

FINAL
India 12 33 43 67 67
Cape Verde 12 26 43 52 52

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 after its semis win. Copyright Ekalavyas

After a listless and underwhelming first three quarters, the Indian men’s team finally got its act together in the last ten minutes to sail through to the final gold medal game of the Lusofonia Games ’14. The basketball event at these games is being held in the state of the art newly constructed Dr Shyam Prasad Mukherjee Stadium inside the Goa University Campus at Taleigao near Panjim.

India was its own worst enemy for most parts of the match and was unable to bring to the floor the infectious energy and opportunism that it had produced in its earlier league encounter against Angola. Perhaps the strain of yesterday’s win over the more fancied Angola carried over to today. Whatever the reason may be, India allowed Cape Verde to remain in the hunt right till the end of the third quarter with the scores being tied at 43 a piece.

In the fourth period, led by centre Amrit Mann and guards Pratham Singh and Joginder Singh, India began striking from both inside and outside to separate itself from an average Cape Verde side. Amrit Mann had 13 points and 9 rebounds, Pratham top scored with 15 points and Joginder produced 14 points which included four crucial three pointers. For Cape Verde, Fidel Mendonca was the lone player to score in double digits with 14 points.

India will now take on Angola in the final gold medal match, which promises to be an entertaining encounter between the two teams which had fought tooth and nail in the earlier league tie that India won 78-75.

Earlier in the day, in the first semifinals, Angola had overcome Mozambique to progress to the finals.

We caught up again with India Head Coach Scott Flemming for his thoughts on the match, the injury to veteran point guard Sambhaji Kadam and the upcoming finale rematch against Angola.

On today’s semifinals

We are not a one man team. We don’t have one guy to lean on, so we need four or five of our guys to step up. I told our players before the game that I don’t look at the scoreboard but rather how well we are playing and I was not happy at halftime obviously. Way too many turnovers. As a coach I’m just trying to get the most out of our players and trying to get to our full potential. If we do that then the scoreboard will take care of itself.

I’ve learnt long ago that we have to demand just as much from our wins as we do from our losses. I’m not happy with a lot of stuff we did today and they (the players) are going to hear about it tomorrow. We are glad for the win, but we still have to demand things even when we win, because down the road this (today’s below par performance) is going to bite us. We made a lot of mental mistakes. At the same time, I thought that in the fourth quarter we rallied. We started thinking, we made the extra pass, knocked down some threes and rebounded the ball. If we had played all quarters like the fourth then we would have won with greater ease. For some reason, I don’t know why we didn’t play well for the first three quarters but picked it up in the end.

On the upcoming rematch against Angola in the finals and whether Angola will now take India more seriously

Absolutely. They got to have respect for us now. I don’t know, but perhaps they came into the earlier game thinking they were going to win easily. They are a great team. So if we don’t play well tomorrow they will beat us. So we’ve got to play our best basketball for all four quarters. Even if we manage that it’s probably still going to be a close game.

They are going to be highly motivated to beat us. But at the end of the day let’s not forget that we are still in India and we are still playing for the gold. We have a chance to be 4-0 and win the gold medal in our home country. How could you not be motivated by that?

On veteran point guard Sambhaji Kadam’s absence from today’s match

He’s done. He’s hurt. He pulled a groin or it might be a tear. We don’t know yet. We are getting MRIs done. We really miss him because he’s the only true point guard we have. He’s older, but he’s wise. In situations where things are getting crazy, he’s the guy that settles us down and gets us into our offense. I won’t lie to you. We miss him.

 

Gallery

Team India after its semis win. Copyright Ekalavyas

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

    Isn’t the stadium in Taleigao and not Panjim?

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  2. Mark 3 years ago

    Any news of Angola-Mozambique result in the semi-final match before this one?

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  3. aditi 3 years ago

    @ Mark
    Angola won that match

    ReplyCancel
  4. Mark 3 years ago

    Why are you calling them “Verde”? The name is Cape Verde.

    ReplyCancel

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