BENGALURU/CHANGSHA, 01 October 2015: The courageous run of the Indian men’s basketball team ended earlier today with a loss to hosts China in the quarterfinals of the 28th FIBA Asia Championship 2015 in Changsha.

Returning to the knockout stage after a gap of 12 years, the Young Cagers showed glimpses of their class and ability to go toe to toe against one of the top sides in the continent. The last time the two teams faced each other during the 5th FIBA Asia Cup, India had stunned their opponents 65-58. Tonight, India led in the initial few minutes before China turned on its jets, led mainly by former NBA centre Yi Jianlian. Jianlian was restricted inside by his hardworking Indian counterpart Amritpal Singh. But being a rare big man who can shoot from long range, Jianlian could not be stopped, and had 18 points at halftime. China moved the ball well to effectively counter India’s 2-3 zone.

Never-say-die forward Yadwinder Singh battled hard against China. Image credit: FIBA Asia.

Never-say-die forward Yadwinder Singh battled hard against China. Image credit: FIBA Asia.

For India, overall tournament top scorer Amjyot Singh was aggressively man marked, so small forward Yadwinder Singh and Captain Vishesh Bhriguvanshi took up most of the scoring load. While Yadwinder was aggressive in the first quarter, guard Bhriguvanshi caught fire midway through the second quarter with back to back threes. He continued to showcase his scoring and playmaking abilities in the second half to end the game with a match high 22 points and 5 assists.  His tournament average of 16.1 points per game and nearly 5 assists per game has ensured that he, along with forward Amjyot Singh, are in the conversation for making the tournament All-Star team.

While India’s run in the main competition has ended, the side has two key classification games to look forward to, starting with the first one against Korea tomorrow (time TBD). A win in either of these games will allow India to secure its best ever tournament ranking since 1989, when it finished 6th.

India (Vishesh Bhriguvanshi 22 pts & 5 asts, Yadwinder Singh 16 pts) lost to China (Yi Jianlian 21 pts, Xiaochuan Zhai 15 pts, Peng Zhou 13 pts) 58-104 [15-27, 14-29, 11-19, 18-29]

India’s upcoming matches at the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship*

Classification Match [5-8 positions]

vs Korea on 2nd October 2015 (Time TBD)
*Scroll down below for tournament groupings, format, history, and India’s past participation.

How to follow the games

The Championship is being held at two venues in Changsha, China. The primary venue is the Gymnasium of Changsha Social Work College, while the secondary venue is the Gymnasium of Central South University of Forestry and Technology.

Matches are being aired on NEO SPORTS. Live streaming of the game is also available on a paid subscription basis here: http://www.livebasketball.tv/home. Live play by play updates are also available on FIBA’s official website: http://www.fiba.com/asia/2015.

INDIAN SQUAD FOR THE 28TH FIBA ASIA MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP 2015

Jersey
No
Name Date of Birth
(dd/mm/yyyy)
Place of Birth
(City & State)
Height
(cm)
Weight

(Kg)

Position
03 Vinay Kaushik 30/08/1991 Lakhan Majra Haryana 189 88 F
04 Rajesh Prakash Uppar 20/01/1991 Dharwad Karnataka 172 67 PG
07 Siddhant Sanjay Shinde 15/06/1991 Pune Maharashtra 180 75 G
09 Vishesh Bhriguvanshi 13/09/1991 Varanasi Uttar Pradesh 193 95 G/F
10 Amritpal Singh 05/01/1991 Ganna Pind Punjab 207 110 C
13 Vikas Kumar 13/11/1988 Dablain Haryana 183 80 F
14 Yadwinder Singh 30/12/1986 Rasulpur Khurd Haryana 196 90 F
15 Arvind Arumugam 28/01/1991 Mandya Karnataka 197 94 PF
22 Amjyot Singh 27/01/1992 Chandigarh Punjab/ Haryana 203 104 F
66 Akilan Pari 20/07/1989 Chennai Tamil Nadu 180 70 PG
69 Akashdeep Hazra 01/07/1996 Baroda Gujarat 213 98 C
96 Gurvinder Singh Gill 21/01/1996 Chandigarh Punjab/ Haryana 200 90 PF

 

*PG – Point Guard / Feeder, G – Guard, F – Forward, G/F – Wing, PF – Power Forward, C – Centre, PF/C – Pivot

 

13) Team Manager:  Mr Goutam Ganguly (West Bengal)

14) Head Coach: Mr Sat Prakash (Rajasthan)

15) Assistant Coach: Mr Sebastian Padipurakkal Joseph (Kerala)

16) Team Physio: Dr Nikhil Nellikka Puthiyandi (Karnataka)

Referees:

17) Mr Atanu Banerjee (West Bengal)

18) Mr Ceceline Michael Vino (Tamil Nadu)

19) Snehal Bendke (Maharashtra)

About the 28th FIBA Asia Men’s Championship 2015

Second Round Groups

Group E: Iran, Philippines, Palestine, Japan, India, Hong Kong

Group F: China, Qatar, Korea, Jordan, Lebanon, Kazakhstan

Preliminary Round Groups

Group A: Iran, India, Malaysia and Japan

Group B: Hong Kong, Palestine, Philippines and Kuwait

Group C: China, Korea, Jordan and Singapore

Group D: Chinese Taipei, Lebanon, Qatar and Kazakhstan

Tournament Format

This will be the 28th edition of the Asian Men’s Basketball Championship. 16 teams are expected participate in this championship and are divided into four groups (A, B, C and D) of four teams each. League matches are conducted within each group and the top three teams from each group proceed to the second round. The second round will comprise 12 teams in total split into two groups (E and F) of six teams each. The three top teams from groups A and B after the first round will be placed in Group E in the second round, while groups C and D’s top three teams will be placed in Group F.

In the second round, the top four teams each from Group C and D progress to the quarterfinals, followed by the semi-finals and finals. The 2015 FIBA Asia Championship is a qualifier for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The winner qualifies automatically for 2016 Men’s Olympic Basketball Tournament. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th place teams earn spots for 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT).

Tournament history & India’s participation

Prior to the upcoming iteration, 27 editions of this biennial championship have been held so far, dating back to 1960. Philippines won the inaugural edition. China leads the medal’s tally with 15 golds, followed by Philippines (5 golds) and Iran (3 golds) India first participated at this event in 1965, and has competed 24 times in total. The Indian men’s team best finish came in 1975, when we finished 4th. India has also secured 5th place at the 1969, 1979 and 1981 iterations.

At the last edition in 2013, Iran, Philippines and Korea were the top three sides, while India finished 11th.

For more details on Indian national teams’ tournament history at the international level see: http://archive.fiba.com/pages/eng/fa/p/lid_38138_cp/1/rpp/100/tid/301/_//teams.html

Gopalakrishnan R
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