Kathmandu, 17th May 2014: The senior Indian men’s team completed the formalities of a 108-32 win over Maldives to be crowned the champions of the 3rd South Asian Basketball Association Championship 2014.
India’s greater international experience, height, speed, skill, endurance and brute strength has been too much to handle for all the other teams in this competition. Maldvies, an island nation with a population of just 300,000, was no exception. India’s suffocating half court defense meant that Maldives was rarely able to get within 15 feet of the basket. On the contrary, India virtually lived in the paint. Forwards Amjyot Singh, Riken Pethani and Centre Amrit Mann combined for more than 10 dunks in the lopsided contest. Such was the size mismatch that the tallest Maldives player was almost a foot shorter than India’s 7ft centre Amrit Mann. By halftime India led by a whopping 64-16 margin and after threatening to cross the 100 point scoring barrier in the earlier matches, finally registered a 108-32 triple digit victory today.
With this win, India finished an unbeaten 4-0 in the tournament after earlier beating Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. As the number one team in South Asia, India has now qualified for the much tougher Asia Cup to be held in Wuhan, China in mid-July, where sterner tests against Asian powerhouses China, Iran and Philippines await.
India 108 (Prakash Mishra 16) bt Maldives 32 (Aushane Ibrahim 12) [Scoring in each quarter: 35-10; 29-6; 31-3; 13-13]
Final Standings: 1) India (4-0); 2) Bangladesh (3-1); 3) Sri Lanka (2-2); 4) Nepal (1-3); 5) Maldives (0-4)
About the 3rd South Asian Basketball Association (SABA) Championship 2014
The tournament, which began on 13th May will conclude on the 17th, and is being played on a round robin league format. This championship is being organised by the Nepal Basketball Association and matches were held in the Dashrath Stadium complex, Tripureshwor in Kathmandu. Five South Asian teams— depending champions Bangladesh, hosts Nepal, Bangladesh and the island nations of Sri Lanka and Maldives are in the fray. The team with the best record at the end of this championship after four matches, will progress from the South Asian region to the Asia Cup tentatively scheduled for mid-July in Wuhan (China).